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Why Online Abuse Shouldn’t Be Encouraged

Importantly, another most disturbing issue is the selective highlighting of the abusive trollers

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Why Online Abuse Shouldn't Be Encouraged
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By Sagarneel Sinha

Online abuse is really becoming a disturbing trend in the country. This time it is none other than foreign minister Sushma Swaraj who became the victim of the online bad mouthing. For almost a week, she received trolls full of scurrilous languages. This trend is really upsetting. The issue started when a passport officer named Vikas Mishra allegedly harassed Tanvi Seth, for marrying a Muslim husband and not changing her name. As a result, the passport officer was transported and the couple too speedily got the transaction. However, this issue was viewed as a policy of Muslim appeasement from Sushma Swaraj by the hardline Hindutva users and they trolled her viciously. Though later, it emerged that Tanvi Seth’s marriage certificate bore a different name — Sadis Anas. The recent reports citing Foreign Ministry sources say that the “marriage certificate is not required for passport” and the passport official Vikas Mishra overstepped “bounds of duty”.

Whatever the case is, hate trolls targeting Sushma Swaraj or any other person is highly
condemnable. This is a very serious case because if the country’s foreign minister faces such insulting comments then one can easily imagine what a journalist, blogger, writer, social activist or a common man will face. If that was not enough, Priyanka Chaturvedi, Congress spokesperson case seems more dangerous. A user attributing to a fake tweet of her didn’t even hesitate to abuse her ten years old daughter. This is really horrible — verbal violence targeting a kid who doesn’t even know exactly the things happening around!

online abuse
A victim of Online Abuse.

Much more worrying is the way the government remains silent on the issue of Sushma Swaraj, one of the most popular and successful cabinet ministers of the Modi government. Swaraj’s own party ruling BJP is surprisingly mum on the issue. Even the Prime Minister Narendra Modi is quiet, who otherwise is known for tweeting mostly on every issue. The two woman cabinet Ministers Smriti Irani and Nirmala Sitharaman are too maintaining tranquility, although two other senior cabinet ministers — Rajnath Singh and Nitin Gadkari came out to support their colleague, Sushma Swaraj.

Actually, the BJP and the government’s silence is only strengthening those who are using abusive languages. Most of the trollers of Sushma Swaraj are the self-styled supporters of the BJP and its extended family and this is the reason the party is mum. But they are wrong because if today these supporters who abused Sushma Swaraj are endorsed, tomorrow the next target could be another one — even the Prime Minister Modi himself. Maintaining silence amounts to encourage them and this could turn detrimental for the party and the government. Already, the silence has tarnished the government’s good image.

Also Read: Good Education can curb Childhood Abuse Effects: Study

Importantly, another most disturbing issue is the selective highlighting of the abusive trollers. If social media is observed, one would find haters belonging to every political and ideological groups. Even Prime Minister Modi himself continues to receive hate comments, mostly from hardline Islamist and the self styled “secular” users. So, if we highlight the cases of Sushma Swaraj and Priyanka Chaturvedi and on the other side remain quiet for the other cases — then this accounts to complete biasness and is good for nothing. That’s why it would be better to speak against all these abusers whether belonging to the right wing ideology — both the hardline Hindutva and the Islamist or the hardline left wing or secular users who every now and then are engaged in spreading venom in the social media. So, it’s high time that both the ideologically and politically divided lawmakers and the civil society of the country keeping all the ideological thinkings aside come together to tackle this situation.

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Twitter issues Apology for Censoring ‘Bisexual’ Hashtag

Twitter has been constantly brinigng out new rules for things like unwanted sexual advances, non-consensual nudity, hate symbols, violent groups, and tweets that glorify violence

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Twitter app on a mobile phone. Pixabay

San Francisco, November 6, 2017 : Twitter which updated its policies last week to fight abuse in an efficient way has come under fire for censoring LGBTQ terms like “bisexual” on its platform.

According to The Verge on Monday, while updating its policies, the micro-blogging website also censored the “bisexual” hashtag under its adult content rules.

The biggest updates on the platform included abusive behaviour, self-harm, spam and related behaviours, graphic violence and adult content.

ALSO READ Twitter Toughens Abuse Rules – and now has to Enforce Them

Angry Twitterati posted against the move.

“If you search #bisexual and click on photos or news there are no results. This is bi-erasure. @Twitter has done this. We exist,” tweeted one user.

The updates last week were part of revamp to Twitter’s policies surrounding online abuse.

Reacting to the latest controversy, Twitter posted: “We’ve identified an error with search results for certain terms. We apologize for this. We’re working quickly to resolve & will update soon”.

Earlier in October, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey had said that the social media platform would take a more aggressive stance in its rules and its enforcement of them.

Dorsey, in his announcement which was a response to the #WomenBoycottTwitter protest, said that the platform would develop new rules for things like unwanted sexual advances, non-consensual nudity, hate symbols, violent groups, and tweets that glorify violence. (IANS)