Veteran journalist Dilip Mandal is a Professor of Mass Communication in Bhopal and is a Consultant with The Print. He had recently become a victim of Twitter hate trends. Although Twitter this time was very proactive and did some damage control by deleting the topic from trending and saved itself another attack from crusaders against hate content.
Albeit for some time, the demeaning casteist slur of a hashtag #मंडल_टॉयलेट_क्लीनर did trend on Twitter India in top 5 trending topics. The purpose of the trend is difficult to ascertain as most users who were tweeting were clueless on why the topic was trending and were simply using the hashtag to increase the number of tweets and to get it to trend and most of the tweets were without content and were mindless
Our take:This throws some light on how Twitter from being a good old micro blogging site has become a platform for hate mongers, mainly users with a strong right-wing ideology, to further their motive of casting aspersions on people promoting or expressing liberal thoughts. Although, surprisingly enough, twitter was very proactive in deleting the trending topic, the tweets are still available on twitter if one searches by the hashtag and hence one cannot call it complete damage control. Twitter has a long way to go to eliminate hate speech but incidents of recent past have shown that Twitter is not interested in going all out against hate speech, as that could erase its user base, which seems to be filled with hate mongers.
Some tweets were extreme denigrating:
Translation: If we clean Mandal with this Mandal Toilet Cleaner only then will our nation be clean
In response to the trends, Dilip Mandal himself tweeted saying, “the toilet cleaner hashtag was considered as hate speech. It was removed from trending topics. Think about the scores of people who are subjected to this kind of hate everyday. Think about those women who bear such insults every day. The country should apologize to them. #RamdevApologize. Apparently, the distasteful tweet about Dilip Mandal was started by supporters of Ramdev Baba and IT cell of BJP, because DIlip Mandal had posted tweets asking Ramdev Baba to apologize for making anti-Dalit statements on National Television.
He also said, “Yes I am a toilet cleaner. BJP IT Cell is making the toilet cleaner trend to insult me. But this is not something to feel humiliated about. You should feel ashamed that you have compelled scores of people to do this on basis of birth. And made such divisions in the name of religion.”