Twitter endorses ‘diverse opinions’ after hate messages target Gauri Lankesh | india-news | Hindustan Times
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Twitter endorses ‘diverse opinions’ after hate messages target Gauri Lankesh

The killing of journalist Gauri Lankesh provoked outrage and anguish across the country on Wednesday, with thousands protesting what they saw as an effort to silence a critic of Hindutva groups.

india Updated: Sep 07, 2017 00:28 IST
HT Correspondent
People hold candles and protest against the killing of journalist Gauri Lankesh in New Delhi on Wednesday.
People hold candles and protest against the killing of journalist Gauri Lankesh in New Delhi on Wednesday.(AP)

Social media platform Twitter said on Wednesday that those violating its policies may find their accounts locked or suspended. The warning follows venomous tweets directed toward slain journalist Gauri Lankesh.

Lankesh, who ran the Gauri Lankesh Patrike magazine, was gunned down outside her Bengaluru home on Tuesday night. The crime brought back chilling memories of the murders of at least three rationalists and left-leaning thinkers since 2013.

The killing of the 55-year-old Lankesh, a known critic of religious superstitions and right-wing Hindu ideas, triggered nationwide protests and condemnations.

But several Twitter users spewed hatred against the senior journalist for her alleged support to Naxals, or Maoist extremists.

After HT reached out to Twitter for a response on online abuse, it said: “We want people to feel safe expressing diverse opinions and beliefs but we draw the line when it comes to behavior that crosses the line into abuse, including behaviour designed to consciously harass, intimidate, or silence another person’s voice.”

A spokesperson said those who violate Twitter’s policies may find their “account temporarily locked, or be subject to permanent suspension”, and encouraged users to report abusive behaviour here.

Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad too condemned the “messages on social media expressing happiness on the dastardly murder”.

“Expressing happiness on the killing of anyone is shameful, regrettable and totally against Indian traditions. Social media is not for that,” he tweeted.

Twitter trolls suggested Lankesh got what she deserved and questioned why the Karnataka government gave her a state funeral. Some also questioned the “fuss” over the protests.

A user with the Twitter handle @aashish81us, who claims to be a political strategist, pointed out that “Lankesh was convicted by a court for defaming two BJP leaders was sentenced to six months in jail and asked to pay Rs 10,000 penalty”.

Another user (@VishweshwarBhat), who is the editor-in-chief of Vishwavani Daily, asked: “Naxal Sympathiser and journalist Gauri Lankesh laid to rest with full state honours. Curious to know the reason. Anyone knows about it?”

There were others such as Jagrati Shukla (@JagratiShukla29), who claims to have worked with ZEE Media and Network18, who clarified that she never “condoned” Lankesh’s murder but her post was no less deplorable.

She tweeted: “GauriLankesh is just a part of the gang of left liberals who hv sieged Indian media, but r rattled due to d apprnt change in status quo (sic).”

“All I have said is that I won’t mourn her demise & that I don’t have an iota of sympathy.”