The new guidelines are making social media a much better, more positive place. It is a move in the right direction, says Aprameya Radhakrishna, Co-Founder & CEO, Koo.


Koo is being seen as an atmanirbhar app, the Indian answer to Twitter. What does the guidelines that have been issued today mean for social media? How feasible and practical will it be for all of you to follow them, these ticket numbers, compliance officers, all of that?
When you look at any social media platform, the number of creators of content on that platform is very small compared to the overall users of the platform. And even amongst those creators, there are very few who actually post fake news or say something that is not good for the society or which invokes violence or threatens somebody else. For the safety of the rest of the 99% of the users of social media, these guidelines make it uniform for all social media irrespective of size to follow the same. So whether it is Facebook, whether it is Twitter, whether it is Koo or anybody else, we will all have to make sure that all our platforms are at the same place for the 99% of users who actually want to use it for the right purposes. It is for us to keep our ears to the ground and make sure that the 1% which actually create havoc are treated in the right manner as per the guidelines that have been given. It is making social media a much better, more positive place. I think it is a move in the right direction.

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Is all of this feasible and realistic, the fact that you have to have all of these officers? You have to have a compliance officer in India as well; you have to take care of all of the grievances within 15 days. The large big social media companies have a user base of around 500 million each.
Yes so far as the implementation goes, if we have to have a grievance officer, we will have to start investing in a grievance redressal mechanism and software, which we have already started on a small scale. For us, it is much smaller and so it gives us an opportunity to build the system right at the beginning.

It is as important as actually building the main product which gives the freedom of expression. We have to build a parallel system which basically takes care of the exceptions that will happen. If you do everything manually, then yes it will require a lot of people but as technology companies, we will figure out a way to make sure that we use technology to address most of it because there are going to be 20 odd or 50 odd types of cases that will come every day.

If we can identify those and have a standard method in which we deal with all of them, that will be the best way. The grievance officer and other officers are basically for escalation. If we are able to manage the grievances right in the beginning using technology, then one does not really need too much manual intervention.

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The government is quite clear there has to be traceability. You have to identify the person who started a post, a message or whatever it is that led to violence or mob lynching etc. How feasible is that? Big tech platforms keep telling they are end-to-end encrypted. It is not possible for them to trace it.

On a platform like Koo, it is publicly available already — who is the source of all of the information, what is the initial post, who reposted it or re-Kooed it in our case– all that is publicly available. So I do not think open networks like ours will have a problem with that. It is probably with private messaging apps that will have to look at how to deal with this. They might have a problem with finding out who is the source of information if they are fully end to end encrypted.

So you are saying that Koo already provides the source of origin? What about the one that has been announced by Mr Ravi Shankar Prasad for women which says that whether posts are morphed, nudity and all of that has to be taken down in 24 hours?
We get a lot of reported Koos. We go through them every day and see which one is valid, which one is not anyway. We do not get a lot of pornographic or nudity content on Koo because it is more a thoughts and opinions kind of a platform. But if we ever do get it, the right thing to do is to take it down. Koo is not a platform for pornography or nudity.

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