Should Twitter Verify all Accounts?

#GurMehar #Twitter #RamjasRow

The rape threats to Gurmehar Kaur on Twitter has led to a police complaint against unidentified persons. Technically speaking, the complaint is correct because except for a few verified accounts with blue tick everybody else on Twitter is anonymous, and this holds true for all social networks because nobody is verifying all accounts. In fact, they are verifying so few accounts that it has become a celebrity status symbol to carry a blue tick.

I think this is not the first time such a complaint has been made to the police. Rather, going by the abusive language that is used on social media platforms, this complaint if taken to its closure may open up a pandora box. The police in this country would then just be investigating Twitter crimes. First and foremost, they will have to identify the complainant (assuming not only the celebrities will file complaints). Then they will have to identify the whole bunch of accused, which can many times run into thousands. Then they will have to arrest them from far corners of the world. And finally, they will have to produce them in courts in special double decker buses each single day (most of them would wear sunglasses). If the HM is really serious about Twitter crimes, he should do either of the two things:

1. Pass a law in the next parliament session to start a new central social media investigation agency.

2. Force social media sites to verify each single account they open on their channels.

Yes, of course, the first one is an easier option because parliamentarians very obligingly pass laws in a jiffy to protect business interests, and if Twitter and like were to verify and identify each single account, they would have to shut shop (esp. Twitter which is a platform just for celebrity promotion).

Disclaimer: I am presently running a campaign for my book Kerala Hugged on Twitter, albeit without a blue tick. I hope Twitter doesn’t start this wholesome verification with me because I don’t have AADHAR no., for I am not willing to divulge my biometric details and won’t do it till am handcuffed and imprisoned. And, please don’t sabotage the campaign.

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Ankur Mutreja is an advocate-cum-writer, and his blogs are amongst his modes of expression. He has also authored six books: "Kerala Hugged"; "Light: Philosophy"; "Flare: Opinions"; "Sparks: Satire and Reviews"; "Writings @ Ankur Mutreja"; and "Nine Poems"; which can be downloaded free from the links on the top menu.

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