Koo will allow users on its platform to self-verify on a voluntary basis, the company has announced.
The Indian micro-blogging platform, billed as a rival to Twitter, will use a government-issued ID or Aadhaar to verify users’ identities on the platform. Similar to verified profiles on Instagram and Twitter, all self-verified Koo profiles will have a green tick next to the username. Koo, which has been offering a Twitter-like experience in Indian languages, said the company would not store the users’ Aadhaar data as only OTP will be required for verification. The verification will be carried out by government-authorised third parties.
The feature, announced on Wednesday, will bring credibility to the platform. The company claims that it had already enabled this feature in compliance with Rule 4(7) of the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021.
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HOW TO SELF-VERIFY ON KOO
Users with Indian phone numbers linked to their Aadhaar or government ID can follow the following steps to self-verify Koo accounts:
— Open the Koo profile on the app and click on self-verify;
— Enter the 12-digit Aadhaar number;
— Enter the one-time password (OTP) received on the Aadhaar-linked phone number and verify.
Once the OTP is submitted, a self-verification tick will be displayed next to the username.
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Koo was launched as an Indian alternative to Twitter in March 2020. According to Sensor Tower statistics, 2.6 million users installed the Koo app on their phones in 2020, compared to 28 million for Twitter. The app’s popularity skyrocketed after a standoff between Twitter and the Centre over the US giant’s refusal to block accounts that the government had flagged for spreading misinformation during the farmers’ protest. Following the standoff, several Cabinet ministers such as Piyush Goyal moved to Koo, which saw a surge in its user base. In April 2021, Ravi Shankar Prasad became the first Union minister to hit 25 lakh followers.