OpinionYuva - India

Why Trump’s Twitter Ban Should Worry Every Indian (Especially the Non-Left)

Donald Trump getting banned on social media has to be the most intense start to 2021. The President of the world’s oldest democracy and strongest country getting removed means social media today has unprecedented power.

It was entertaining to some, depressing to a few. Democrats rejoiced; Republicans cried. The storming of the Capitol building was the only tragedy everyone could collectively condemn. However, whether one loves Trump, or hates him- the social media ban should worry everyone.

I’m no-Trump fan. Sure, if I was a citizen of the USA, I would’ve chosen him over Biden- only because politics is about choosing the least evil. But as a woman, his comments from the past sicken me. I have had the privilege of never meeting such men, who’d like to grab a woman by their body parts.

But him being kicked out of Twitterverse while he still continues to hold the position for which he was elected 4 years back is disturbing. Social media- Twitter, Instagram, Facebook- is notorious for banning non-Left voices. I have myself been victimized by their selective policy but was lucky enough to get away with 12 hours of suspension and a warning.

Yet, I may not be so lucky next time.

There’s always a bunch of Left-Liberal folks waiting to pounce on whatever small tidbit you may throw at them in the form of an innocuously sarcastic comment, a carelessly controversial tweet. In this woke era, one has to be particularly careful to not say anything that will offend them. Or you are doomed.

If the Trump ban did not disturb you, this surely will: On Sunday, 10th January 2021, “#HangMikePence” was trending on Twitter. Sure, it had both Democrats and Republicans tweeting under this tag, each side disappointed in him for their own reasons. But if one is to observe this, sans any political bias, is it not unsettling that a tag which openly calls for someone’s hanging is in the Top 10 trends? Is it not even more frightening that Twitter allowed it to trend?

If the BLM riots, and Capitol storming are any proof, then it is obvious that Americans are quick to adopt violent means. If I was Mike Pence, I would’ve offered my last set of prayers to my God, believing that my time had come.

Now let us look at why it should alarm Indian citizens.

Last year, a college student casually commented on Facebook: “Time for a Brahmin Genocide.” The comment stayed put till the guy was made infamous by outraging citizens. Even then, there were people endorsing it in the comment section; an even greater number of people had liked it, in agreement to the same. Sure, Indians will not automatically go around rioting and killing a community which today makes up less than 5% of the total population and does not enjoy privileges like the Left wants you to believe they do.

But the Anti-CAA movements of 2020 have shown that Indians are not very far behind Americans, when it comes getting violent under the garb of “protesting”. The fact that the ‘Brahmin Genocide’ commentor was allowed to remain on Facebook and made his exit from the platform only when he chose to, after lots of targeted harassment, is an example of the Big Tech’s bias.

I joined Twitter in September 2020, and every single day, I see at least one tweet bashing Brahmins, Brahmin Privilege, Brahmin Patriarchy (what exactly is that?), etc. I have seen Brahminism be connected to the most remote things. The Left-Liberal bandwagon and its morbid obsession with Brahmins is the biggest social media trend today. Yet, Twitter does not deem this offensive, hateful, targeted, etc.

When I say all of this, I do not attempt to whitewash decades of casteism which was a part of the Indian society and is still prevalent in certain backward areas. But those carrying poison for descendants of the perpetrators today fail to understand how it is more detrimental and makes integration impossible. However, right now, that is not my concern.

It is the hold Left has over social media.

Accounts of hateful persons, organizations, leaders, etc. are allowed to stay and operate. Those who boost their voices are not flagged. The Big Tech’s algorithm makes it difficult for Non-Left voices to be amplified. Famous Non-Left personalities have often complained about major drop in followers, limited reach of their content, constant suspension/reporting, and partiality exhibited by the social media when dealing with complaints against them.

I primarily follow Non-Left pages. Yet, my feed is often flooded with content from the Left; pages and accounts I abhor are constantly sending their articles my way, whereas it takes days before I can see my favorite people’s tweets. I know Google shows us ad recommendations based on our search history for products. But when it comes to matters of politics, law, religion, Google either doesn’t check my history, or turns a blind eye to the same; because all I receive are links from portals I would never check out.

The selectivity, hypocrisy and twisted algorithm are particularly concerning for me. As BJP rises in India, the Left is getting angrier. One has to open just 5 woke influencers’ pages to know the kind of vitriol the Left carries for certain sections of the population.

As someone who reads a lot and takes pride in knowing much more than many people her age, I see misinformation on my timeline every day. The fact that certain statements are blatantly wrong doesn’t seem to faze Twitter. No matter how hard one tries, these pages and their statements continue to gain traction. I can’t even list out the number of hateful influencers I have seen in the small period of time since I’ve been on twitter. Their blue ticks only seem to legitimize the wrong statements they make.

An entire generation is being fed information that will turn them into obnoxious zombies, only good for detesting and vilifying one community. Cultural Marxism today is not just limited to books and universities; social media, the most accessible source of information, is deeply in its grips. The fact that one Google search about “Cultural Marxism” leads you to 10 articles which all list it as “A Far-Right Conspiracy Theory”, whereas, all opposing, Non-Left voices are relegated to deep ends of Google’s 3rd page, demonstrates the insidious problem of the relationship the Big Tech has with the Left.

The day is not far when calls for genocide in India will not just be limited to social media. The Indian Left has normalized violence to an extent where the gullible youth will pick up arms if it turns them into “revolutionaries”.

I will once again circle back to the Anti-CAA protests, which later turned into riots. As a law student, I was shocked to find many peers fall prey to misinformation.

The protests against Farm Bills are another recent example. While there has been no violence (yet), I see people share false information, with no cogent arguments.

It feels good to be a liberal and oppose the establishment. I know because I was a part of this herd till 2018.

But when people forget their duty towards the Nation and feverishly oppose the Government, buying into the Left’s narrative, there is a problem. The Big Tech and its pervasiveness in the Indian society needs to be curbed. I am in no way asking for a curtailment of right to speech and expression, or access to information. I am merely asking for mechanisms which will force social media to act as a unifying force, and not a divisive one.

Bhavya Jha

Intern, Goa Chronicle


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