UPDATE: 94.3 Radio One India has apologized to Harsh in a tweet and also clarified the earlier statements.
94.3 Radio One India that claims to be ‘India’s only differentiated international radio network for educated audiences’ has just added another feather in its cap. The radio station has blocked certain users on Twitter, and has thus earned itself a listing in the social media blunders of this year. It all began with a tweet by a fan and a social media student, Harsh Mehta when he questioned the station about discontinuing its popular weekly EDM show. The station tweeted a rather ‘arrogant’ response and followed it up by blocking him and many others who dared to question!
A joint venture between Next Mediaworks Ltd and BBC Worldwide founded 3 years ago, 94.3 Radio One India has been popular for bringing localised content for each of the metros it operates in. The station had recently discontinued its popular weekly show called ‘In The Mix’ hosted by RJ and presenter Nikhil Chinapa, and in its stead announced a new show with a similar format called ‘Radio One Mega Mix’.
Regular followers of ‘In The Mix’ were already miffed that their favourite show has come to an end. So, when Nikhil tweeted about ‘In The Mix’ being kept alive through a new website ‘themixindia.com’, where anybody from anywhere could access it, fans were delighted. As the first online episode went live on the 6th of April from 10 pm till midnight, the hashtag created for it ‘#ITMX61’ began trending within 30 minutes to occupy the second position in India trends.
A little while later, 94.3 Radio One India with an impressive 5K+ followers on Twitter, tweeted about its new show ‘Radio One Mega Mix’, asking EDM lovers to retweet it. This did not go down well with the fans of ‘In The Mix’, especially Harsh who has been a regular follower of the EDM show made popular by Nikhil Chinapa.
The following screenshot is of the conversation between Harsh and 94.3 Radio One, where the station responds with ‘In the Mix’ being replaced by ‘Radio One Mega Mix’ as it was an outdated EDM concept.
The Station’s Twitter handle also blocked him soon after, thereby causing an end to further discussion. Harsh has blogged about this incident here, which has only snowballed further when it was brought to my notice by multiple sources. Harsh has been receiving support from other fans as well as music aficionados, furthering the Twitter goof-up by 94.3 Radio One.
Twitter offers the ‘block user’ feature so you could get rid of spammers or annoying users. How does a fan asking about the discontinuation of his favourite show amount to ‘spam or annoyance’ is beyond me? Blocked users cannot follow or add your account to their lists, and you will not see their @replies in your mentions tab. By blocking Harsh and others, 94.3 Radio One has come across as ‘immature’ and even ‘crass’ in its tone of conversation.
Moreover, the radio station has risked the loss of more followers, for its bad social behaviour that Harsh has been fighting against. The incident could have been entirely avoided had the person handling the radio station’s Twitter account been professional in his/her approach; blocking users was absolutely uncalled for. In the social media age, you need to delineate your personal frustrations from your professional outlook, because the internet remembers everything.
P.S. Our team has contacted 94.3 Radio One India on Twitter for their response to the ‘blocking users episode’, and the article will be updated as soon as we are able to garner a response.