The issue of Prime Minister Narendra Modi following some Twitter handles of vicious online trolls who keep posting abusive content on social media is one which has been discussed again and again and again.
After activist-journalist Gauri Lankesh's murder, several of these nasty trolls on Twitter expressed happiness at the crime. In fact, such was the outpouring of abusive content on Twitter that Information and Technology minister Ravi Shankar Prasad had to issue a statement against such abusive messages.
I strongly condemn & deplore the messages on social media expressing happiness on the dastardly murder of #Gaurilankesh.
— Ravi Shankar Prasad (@rsprasad) September 6, 2017
Expressing happiness on the killing of anyone is shameful, regrettable and totally against Indian traditions. Social media is not for that. — Ravi Shankar Prasad (@rsprasad) September 6, 2017
But something disturbing which people and the media noticed yet again was that the prime minister himself had followed some of these trolls on Twitter who were expressing sadistic joy at the brutal murder of Gauri.
This issue on Thursday snowballed into a Twitter war as anger over Modi following abusive online trolls on Twitter spilled out on social media and the hashtag #BlockNarendraModi in no time became one of the top trends on the micro-blogging site. The hashtag was inspired by one Nikhil Dadhich, a pro-right-wing troll, who gushed about the fact that the prime minister followed his Twitter account. Dadhich, in fact, mentioned that in his Twitter profile. (see image below)
As the outrage over nasty trolls flared on social media, Dadhich deleted the bit about "Honored To Be Followed by PM Sh. @narendramodi Ji", and replaced it with "Hindu Nationalist". Interestingly, even as the civil society was outraging over Gauri's assassination and several right-wing supporters continued to malign the name of the slain journalist, Modi did not stop following Dadhich (see image below)
The hashtag began trending and at around 12 pm on Thursday, it was the top trend on Twitter.
— Sayed Tausif (@Tausif_Qazi) September 6, 2017
He is also followed by our PM..how could a PM encourages such extremist ideology. Block him until he unfollows abusers #BlockNarendraModi pic.twitter.com/L72sIBsHzf — Khushboo khan (@Khushbookhan_) September 7, 2017
Done. Blocked & Unfollowed Modi. Such person who doesn't care for people need not be followed #BlockNarendraModi #India #NotMyPM pic.twitter.com/Uh7FELOr3i — Manoj Mehra (@ManojMehra2610) September 7, 2017
PM of India #NotMyPM is following abusers and hate mongers. I have blocked him. Will you join me in this protest. #BlockNarendraModi pic.twitter.com/C7TmPbiZjK — Paediatrician_INC (@peadiatric_inc) September 6, 2017
An absentee PM who cant care about d country that voted him to power & follows venomous people on Twitter. #BlockNarendraModi is a good idea pic.twitter.com/MAjXNL1lbB — Akshay Bajaj (@villagerurbaine) September 6, 2017
However, there were also a substantial number of tweets in support of the prime minister. He is, after all, the second-most followed world leader on Twitter after US president Donald Trump.
— Shiv_Priya (@Anu1021996) September 7, 2017
— श्वेता सिंह (@swetasinghsinha) September 7, 2017
Hey ! Today people are trending #BlockNarendraModi
— Sanjib Ghoshসঞ্জীব (@sampadscales) September 7, 2017
Updated Date: Sep 07, 2017 14:25 PM