India’s PM hands over social media accounts to mark Women’s Day

Modi — one of the world’s most-followed politicians on social media — said Monday he was thinking of going offline before revealing his plan to “give away” his accounts to inspirational women. (File/AFP)
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Updated 08 March 2020

India’s PM hands over social media accounts to mark Women’s Day

  • Some rights activists said Modi’s government should instead focus on reducing high levels of sexual violence and economic disadvantages faced by women
  • Violence against women in India has been in the spotlight since the brutal gang-rape and murder of a Delhi student on a bus in 2012

NEW DELHI: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave prominent women control of his social media accounts on Sunday to mark International Women’s Day in a move critics dismissed as a publicity stunt.
A disability activist and a water campaigner were among the women who tweeted from Modi’s Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts where he has tens of millions of followers.
Their posts attracted thousands of likes and drew many positive responses across the platforms.
But some rights activists said Modi’s government should instead focus on reducing high levels of sexual violence and economic disadvantages faced by women in the largely conservative and patriarchal society.
“It is an attention-seeking move because you can’t answer what is happening in the country,” Shabnam Hashmi told the Press Trust of India.
“Women have become much worse off than what they were six years ago (when Modi came to power).”
Modi — one of the world’s most-followed politicians on social media — said Monday he was thinking of going offline before revealing his plan to “give away” his accounts to inspirational women.
“This will help them ignite motivation in millions,” he tweeted, calling for people to share stories with the hashtag #SheInspiresUs.
But young climate activist Licypriya Kangujam, who was tagged in a tweet from a government account, replied she did not want to be celebrated.
“Dear @narendramodi Ji, Please don’t celebrate me if you are not going to listen my voice,” she said Friday.
Violence against women in India has been in the spotlight since the brutal gang-rape and murder of a Delhi student on a bus in 2012.
Nearly 34,000 rapes were reported in 2018, according to official data, with activists claiming the figure is just the tip of the iceberg.


Twitter ties 130 accounts trying to disrupt first Trump-Biden debate to Iran

Updated 01 October 2020

Twitter ties 130 accounts trying to disrupt first Trump-Biden debate to Iran

  • Says it was able to identify the threats based on information from the FBI

RIYADH: Twitter on Thursday said it has expunged more than a hundred accounts that tried to interfere with the public debate between US President Donald Trump and his Democratic challenger Joe Biden on Tuesday night.

"Based on intel provided by the @FBI, last night we removed approximately 130 accounts that appeared to originate in Iran. They were attempting to disrupt the public conversation during the first 2020 US Presidential Debate," the American social networking service said in a statement.

 

"We identified these accounts quickly, removed them from Twitter, and shared full details with our peers, as standard. They had very low engagement and did not make an impact on the public conversation. Our capacity and speed continue to grow, and we'll remain vigilant," it said.

"As standard, the accounts and their content will be published in full once our investigation is complete. We’re providing this notice to keep people updated in real time about our actions. We wish to thank the @FBI for their assistance," Twitter said.

Iran and China are suspected of trying to interfere in the forthcoming US election to help Biden win, while Russia is said to have continued supporting Trump.

 

Weighing in, Twitter users took sides, with some slamming Iran and others blaming the social networking site for favoring the US president.

 

"Those activities against the American people were directed by (Iranian supreme leader) Ali Khamenei who has multiple accounts on Twitter. Perhaps Khamenei shouldn't have Twitter accounts to promote his malicious activities," tweeted Sam Kermani. @CTGR8

"Iran must be a lot worse then China, Russia, lots of other country's and even a ton of organizations in the United States with not getting caught doing that sort of stuff," added @mike10dude.

Alfredo Montanez (@Deadpool650) said Twitter should also "remove Trump's tweets when he posts fake information about voting information and Covid19 instead of just putting a label on it."

"Thank you. Would you mind banning the account of our biggest threat to democracy, Donald Trump?" chimed in Helen Armstrong (@HelenArmstrong5).