What exactly is Koo? What is its purpose?
Koo is a similar platform as Twitter where users can express their opinions, though it is being marketed as India’s answer to Twitter for non-English users. Aprameya Radhakrishna is the developer, co-founder and CEO of Koo and launched the app in March 2020.
One of the prominent differences between Koo and Twitter is that the indigenous app offers services in various local languages allowing many Indians to use the platform with ease. The fact that only 10 per cent Indians are vocal in English has been the selling point for the application.
Since a large number of Indian population does not speak English, Koo is trying “to make the voice of these Indians heard. They can now participate on the internet in their mother tongue by listening to the views of some of the sharpest Indian minds and also speak their mind by sharing their thoughts.”
Koo app: privacy concerns, China connection
French cybersecurity researcher Robert Baptiste, who also goes by the alias Elliot Alderson on Twitter, has highlighted that the app is leaking user information. Baptiste had earlier pointed out vulnerabilities in the Aadhaar system along with security bugs and vulnerabilities in other tech services. On Wednesday, he took to Twitter and said that Koo had loopholes that can lead to leaking of personal data including email, name, DOB, marital status, gender. This means that there was a possibility of data leakage of millions of users including the Indian government departments who were using the platform.
Meanwhile, some Chinese connection to this app has also surfaced. A Chinese company named Shunwei (which is connected to Xiaomi and is a venture capital fund investing in start-ups), has also invested in Koo. However, Shunwei will now be exiting the company and will be selling its stake, making Koo a complete Indian entity. This has been confirmed by the Koo co-founder.
5 myths about Koo busted
But that's not the only piece of misinformation people took seriously. Here we are listing all the things Indians have got it wrong about Koo.
Misinformation: Koo app's Twitter handle is @KooAppOfficial
Fact: @KooIndia is the official handle for Koo app and not @KooAppOfficial
Misinformation: Koo app is a Chinese registered company
Fact: Koo is an Indian company registered in India and servers are also in India
Misinformation: Koo is funded by China
Fact: Koo had a single digit Chinese shareholder Shunwei, but has now exited completely
Misinformation: Koo is leaking personal user data
Fact: The claim is misleading as users who choose to make their info public will be available for everyone to view
Misinformation: Koo is secretly run by Indian government
Fact: Koo was founded in March last year by Aprameya Radhakrishna and Mayank Bidawatka