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Letter to BS: Now social media is being exploited to spread violence

There is a need for some degree of executive control over social media

Business Standard 

Sushma Swaraj
Sushma Swaraj | Photo: PTI

This refers to Archis Mohan’s report “After Rajnath, Gadkari comes in Swaraj’s support” (July 4). The way the foreign minister is being trolled in connection with the issue of passport to an inter-faith couple raises the question whether we have learnt to use in a dignified and responsible manner while sharing our disapproval. More worrying is the poll conducted by Swaraj (pictured) that showed as many as 43 per cent respondents supported these vicious trolls.

Besides, both the content and language of such messages, without due regard to the status or gender of the target, speaks a lot about the kind of people who use it indiscriminately. Now is being exploited to spread violence — for instance, through rumours of cow killings and child-lifting. There is a need for some degree of executive control.

Another disquieting angle is the studied silence of her senior colleagues. Even her female colleagues like Nirmala Sitharaman and Smriti Irani are quiet. One possible reason for this politically correct behaviour could be that many among the Prime Minister’s ardent followers are jealous of her success as the foreign minister. Trolling might have given them some amount of vicarious pleasure.

Y G Chouksey Pune

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First Published: Wed, July 04 2018. 21:36 IST