Pokemon Go fever, Twitter closing down, Modi likely to overtake Obama on social media: social updates

Our social media updates this time include the rumor of Twitter closing down and Twitter's clarification on it, the mobile game fever called Pokemon Go, and who is likely to be the most popular world leader in 2017.

All growing as of now: PokemonGo, Twitter, Modi

Twitter closing down soon? No way!

 Twitter had to hear last week what people had been complaining about: instead of the bird chirping, it sometimes howls and that hurts. It was not even a howl, it was just a rumor that Twitter was closing down in 2017 and it has ruffled Twitter's feathers enough!

It is reported that the rumor was started by someone peeved with Twitter's failure to stop trolling and abuse on the platform. It was soon lapped up by Twitterati, partly due to genuine concern about Twitter closing down and partly to slam Twitter. The hashtag #SaveTwitter had more than a hundred thousand tweets before Twitter clarified that the rumor had 'no truth whatsoever'.

The spat between Twitter and Buzzfeed over Twitter's poor cyber-security standards did help in spreading the rumor. Ripe with sufferers' interviews, Buzzfeed's 11th August report on Twitter's poor record of checking cyber-bullying and abuse concluded, For nearly its entire existence, Twitter has not just tolerated abuse and hate speech, it’s virtually been optimized to accommodate it. Twitter's former employees are reported to have told Buzzfeed that Twitter followed double standards when it came to stopping abusive attacks. Twitter joined the issue, saying, We feel there are inaccuracies in the details and unfair portrayals but rather than go back and forth with BuzzFeed, we are going to continue our work on making Twitter a safer place. There is a lot of work to do but please know we are committed, focused, and will have updates to share soon.

For the present, Twitter is tweeting, and going by its share quotes, it's tweeting merrily!

Modi on way to become the most followed political leader?

This ET report shows how Modi might soon become the most popular global leader. Right now, he trails Obama on Facebook and Twitter, but as Obama has only a few months left in White House, his following will go down. On the other hand, Modi's would keep rising in the next two years of his premiership. 

It is also interesting to note what helps Modi get so popular on social media. Sometime back, WSJ  enumerated five factors for his 'social media magic':
  • show off, 
  • feature photos of friends and family,
  • demonstrate  your good deeds, 
  • support your sports team, and 
  • be gracious in defeat.


How the world is coping with Pokemon Go

In a short span of time, Pokemon Go has surpassed Candy Crush and other games in its popularity. This mobile game now has more daily users than many social media platforms, and its popularity is not seeing any sign of waning. 

Released just a month back, the mobile game has become 'viral' beyond the imagination of even its company (Niantic). The game has been able to hook players with its 'augmented reality' features - challenging them to find a virtual Pokemon in the real world near them. Its popularity has led to abuse of its features. Security agencies look at the game as a possible security risk. Governments and people are raising safety and privacy concerns as people move around streets, eyes glued to their mobile phones, and worse.

The game has led people into weird situations such as bumping into a tree, falling off a cliff and losing way.  A player has been charged for jumping over subway tracks in Toronto. A Michigan landlord has sued the Pokeman Company for people trespassing his property - and it will likely become a class suit.  In Florida, a deranged performer is reported to be stalking Pokemon Go players. 

US State Department has cautioned people playing in Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam that they might step on landmines and old bombs.

Pentagon has banned Pokemon Go on official phones. Volkswagen has banned it in office premises. Iran has formally banned the game. There is no score of such bans at local levels; there is a report that it has been banned in Bressolles, a village in central France, and in a Malaysian province.