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BJP says Congress Leaders have ‘Lost their Mental Balance’ after Manish Tewari Tweets Abusive Remarks to Narendra Modi

Manish Tewari is the second Congress pioneer after Congress general secretary Digvijaya Singh to experience harsh criticism for utilizing foul dialect against Modi

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Manish Tewari
National spokesperson of INC, Manish Tewari. (IANS)
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New Delhi, September 18, 2017 : If your interests lie in Indian politics and if you are fairly aware of the controversies that stem out of  Twitter, then this news is for you! Senior Congress pioneer Manish Tewari took to the micro-blogging website on September 17 and utilized hateful speech tending to Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a tweet- hours after sending his ‘good wishes’ for the Indian Prime Minister’s birthday

The episode began with a tweet of a short video shared by Tewari of a blunder which demonstrated Modi strolling while the national anthem was being played during his Russia trip in 2015.

Through his tweet, Manish Tewari attempted to ridicule Prime Minister Modi for following individuals who were seen displaying satisfaction via social media after Kannada senior journalist-activist Gauri Lankesh was shot dead outside her home in Bengaluru.

Tewari’s tweet was responded to by a user who at that point continued to contrast Modi and Mahatma Gandhi.

Understanding the What, When, How

In his post, Tewari asserted in Hindi how Modi “befooled” individuals and that, “Even Mahatma can’t show MODI Deshbhakti (patriotism)”

Manish Tewari
The controversial tweet by Tewari (censored) Twitter

He was reacting to a comment made by a man on the micro- blogging site that patriotism is in the DNA of Modi and even Mahatma Gandhi can’t tutor him that.

The issue stayed hot on Sunday with BJP pioneers and supporters disagreeing with Tewari over it.

Union minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi in an interview with PTI said that after facing rejection from the people, a distressed Congress and its leaders have “lost their mental balance”.

BJP spokesperson Nalin Kohli demanded an apology from Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi, saying an absence of which would mean Tewari’s words had their approval and support.

The incident has also highlighted the unfortunate stance of administrative chair-holders who have forgotten the dignity and decorum politics requires in an attempt to malign fellow leaders.

The issue remained trending on Twitter – a hashtag “ #CongLeaderAbusesPM” was also surfaced and drew sharp reactions from Twitterati.

While the Congress leader clarified asserting that his remark did not attempt to target Prime Minister Narendra Modi but the twitter user who had compared the PM with the Father of the Nation.

Manish Tewari is the second Congress pioneer after Congress general secretary Digvijaya Singh to experience harsh criticism for utilizing foul dialect against Modi.

Previously, on September 8, senior pioneer of the INC, Digvijaya Singh, had likewise shared a meme in which injurious language was utilized against the Prime Minister. Singh had additionally said that Prime Minister was a specialist in the “art of tricking”.

The previous chief minister of Madhya Pradesh was broadly censured in similar manner as Tewari was.

The occurrence has exposed a new low as far for the Congress party is concerned.

Twiterrati and the Indian masses have to a great extent censured the response by none other than a legal counselor who was formerly the information and broadcasting minister of the nation. Tewari, who is also the official representative of the INC has been at the receiving end of a lot of flak and rightly so. It is extremely improper for any educated individual to indulge in the use of such foul dialect, more so when they are accountable for public position.

This also brings forth a larger question- Have people’s dispositions changed toward what’s considered socially acceptable language? Have discussion platforms on the internet further wrecked this understanding as people get an opportunity to use words they might not have said out loud behind a lock of anonymity?

 


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Twitter Releases Tweets Showing Attempts Of Influence On U.S. Politics From Foreign Countries

All of the accounts linked to the massive trove of tweets released by Twitter have been suspended or deleted.

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The Twitter logo is shown at its corporate headquarters in San Francisco, California. VOA

On Wednesday, Twitter released a collection of more than 10 million tweets related to thousands of accounts affiliated with Russia’s Internet Research Agency propaganda organization, as well as hundreds more troll accounts, including many based in Iran.

The data, analyzed and released in a report by The Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab, are made up of 3,841 accounts affiliated with the Russia-based Internet Research Agency, 770 other accounts potentially based in Iran as well as 10 million tweets and more than 2 million images, videos and other media.

Russian trolls targeting U.S. politics took on personas from both the left and the right. Their primary goal appears to have been to sow discord, rather than promote any particular side, presumably with a goal of weakening the United States, the report said.

DFRlab says the Russian trolls were often effective, drawing tens of thousands of retweets on certain posts including from celebrity commentators like conservative Ann Coulter.

Russia, Twitter
The Internet Research Agency building, dubbed the Russian troll factory, is seen at Savushkina Street in St. Petersburg, Russia. VOA

Some of the tweets posted:

“Judgement Day is here. Please vote #TrumpPence16 to save our great nation from destruction! #draintheswamp #TrumpForPresident,” said a fake Election Day tweet in 2016.

“Daily reminder: Trump still hasn’t imposed sanctions on Russia that were passed 4,193 in the House and 982 in the Senate. Shouldn’t that be grounds for impeachment?” said another tweet in March of this year.

Multiple goals

The Russian operation had multiple goals, including interfering in the U.S. presidential election, polarizing online communities, and weakening trust in American institutions, according to the DFRLab.

“The thing to understand is that the Russians were equal opportunity partisans,” Graham Brookie, one of the researchers behind the analysis, told VOA News. “There was a very specific focus on specific ideological communities and specific demographics.”

Twitter
The 2016 Democratic presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton, speaks at an event hosted by the Atlantic Council in Washington. VOA

Following an initial push to prevent Hillary Clinton from being elected in 2016, the analysis identified a “second wave” of fake accounts, many of which were focused on infiltrating anti-Trump groups, especially those identified with the “Resistance” movement, exploiting sensitive issues such as race relations and gun violence. These often achieved greater impact than their conservative counterparts.

“Don’t ever tell me kneeling for the flag is disrespectful to our troops when Trump calls a sitting Senator “Pocahontas” in front of Native American war heroes,” tweeted an account posing as an African-American woman named “Luisa Haynes” under the handle @wokeluisa in November 2017. The tweet garnered more than 32,000 retweets and over 89,000 likes.

“They tried to inflame everybody, regardless of race, creed, politics or sexual orientation,” the Lab noted in its analysis. “On many occasions, they pushed both sides of divisive issues.”

Iran trolling

Iran’s trolling was primarily focused on promoting its own interests, including attacking regional rivals like Israel and Saudi Arabia.

However, Iran’s trolling was less effective than the Russian posts, with most tweets getting limited responses.

Twitter
Twitter Chief Executive Officer Jack Dorsey testifies before a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on foreign influence operations and their use of social media on Capitol Hill. VOA

This was partially because of posting styles that were less inflammatory, according to the report.

“Few of the accounts showed distinctive personalities: They largely shared online articles,” according to the report. “As such, they were a poor fit for Twitter, where personal comment tends to resonate more strongly than website shares.” Generally, many troll posts were ineffective, and “their operations were washed away in the firehose of Twitter.”

All of the accounts linked to the massive trove of tweets released by Twitter have been suspended or deleted, and the analysis notes that overall activity from suspected Russian trolls fell this year after Twitter clampdowns in September and June 2017.

Also Read: Facebook Better Prepared To Defend Itself Against External Manipulation For The Elections

But, that does not mean political trolls do not still pose a threat.

“Identifying future foreign influence operations, and reducing their impact, will demand awareness and resilience from the activist communities targeted, not just the platforms and the open source community,” according to the report. (VOA)