Faceoff With Govt Could Cost Twitter Dearly As Brands Likely To Pull Out From Advertising On PlatformUnion Minister R S Prasad and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey

Amid the ongoing faceoff between government and Twitter, some of the brands are likely to pull back advertisements from the micro-blogging platform in the coming days.

According to brand experts and advertisers, Brands are playing safe on the ongoing tussle between the government and Twitter as they fear backlash.

"Brands will have to be very careful now and they will hedge their bets. Companies move away from advertising on the platforms which are under threat,” brand strategy expert Harish Bijoor was quoted by Economic Times as saying.

Bijoor added that homegrown platforms like Koo may provide alternatives for Twitter. He said that the ongoing tussle between Twitter and government was a big opportunity for new apps even though they will take some time and traction to be as seamless as the US micro-blogging website.

Similarly, advertisers have said that due to the sensitive and political nature of the controversy, brands are going to pull back and watch from the sidelines in short to mid term.

It should be noted that Twitter has just 5 per cent share in the Rs 18,000 crore Indian digital advertising market. Facebook and Google corner around 75 per cent of the advertising spends in India.

Meanwhile, factcheckers said that the micro-blogging website has scored a "self-goal" of sorts by not abiding by the Indian laws in the recent controversy.

It should be noted that government had asked Twitter to block certain accounts spreading Khalistani propaganda as well as handles running provocative hashtags. However, Twitter refused to fully comply with government order citing free speech, which forced IT Ministry to convey to platform's executives that Indian laws supersede any of its rules and guidelines.

Saurabh Shukla, founder of the Newsmobile.in, a fact-checker for Facebook, said "Twitter has scored a self-goal. You have to realise that any global company has to abide by the laws of the country. The problem is that Twitter continued to ignore the problem of misinformation and fake news for so long. They were casual about it".

He added that platforms need domain experts for sifting out sensitive content that may impinge national security which any government will not take lightly.

It should be noted that India is a critical market for Twitter despite it having far lesser users in the country than US and Japan.

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