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Twitter blocks polling app 'MyVoteToday'

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

As it intensifies the crackdown on bots, trolls, and fake accounts, has blocked several accounts in India, including the handle of polling app 'MyVoteToday' that in a recent poll had asked people who they want to be 'silenced' and listed options of chief ministers, Opposition politicians and journalists, among others.

A told that it would "not tolerate behaviour that harasses, intimidates or uses fear to silence another person's voice" but declined to comment on any individual account.

"This account has been suspended," is a response one got when the 'MyVoteToday' handle is searched on Also, 27 other handles run by the promoter of 'MyVoteToday' have been blocked.

"Our investigation found this account violated the Twitter rules," a 'MyVoteToday' follower posted as the response received from Twitter.

'MyVoteToday' (@MyVoteToday), which had claimed to be the world's second largest pollster and a "research of Government of India", was created by based in and based in Palo Alto,

In a recent poll, MyVoteToday had asked, "To #MakeIndiaGreatAgain which of the 66 alleged #EnemiesofIndia have to be silenced" and listed 66 persons, who were critical of government policies.

The list had the names of Mamata Banerjee, Pinarayi Vijayan, leaders -- Sonia Gandhi, P and -- CPM's Sitaram Yechuri, former Jammu and Ministers and as well as several journalists, professors, artists, students and separatists.

In another poll, it had asked people who they among a list -- that included Rahul Gandhi, Arvind Kerjiwal, Bollywood stars and -- want to be 'slapped'.

The Twitter said it does not comment on individual accounts for privacy and security reasons and does not give out country-wise numbers on the accounts that have been blocked recently.

"We take the safety of our users very seriously and do not tolerate behaviour that harasses, intimidates or uses fear to silence another person's voice," the said.

While Amit Bagaria, the promoter of Apption Digital, could not be reached for comments today, quoted him saying that the Twitter's move was a "conspiracy to defame him" and these accounts were "wrongly locked or suspended".

Twitter, which like is becoming more vigilant about any abuse of its platform for spreading misinformation, has been weeding out fake accounts by the millions.

"The Twitter rules also state that you may not use Twitter's services for the purpose of spamming anyone. This includes posting duplicative or substantially similar content, replies, or mentions over multiple accounts," the spokesperson said.

Further, the spokesperson said, "we have a range of enforcement options that we may exercise when conducting a review for possible violations of the Twitter Rules, led by an international team that takes into consideration both local and global context".

A permanent suspension is resorted to when an account violates rules in "a particularly egregious way" or has repeatedly violated them, the spokesperson said, adding, "violators can appeal permanent suspensions if they believe we made an error".

As on May 2018, Twitter had "identified and challenged" more than 9.9 million potentially spammy or automated accounts per week globally. This had led to number of spam reports dropping from an average of about 25,000 per day in March to 17,000 per day in May.

Last week, the US daily reported that Twitter has sharply escalated its battle against fake and suspicious accounts, suspending more than 1 million a day in recent months, in a bid to lessen the flow of disinformation on the platform.

"Twitter suspended more than 70 million accounts in May and June, and the pace has continued in July, according to the data," said in a report on July 6.

The report said that the extent of account suspensions is one of several recent moves by Twitter to limit the influence of people it says are abusing its platform.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, July 10 2018. 15:45 IST