Congress spokesperson Priyanka Chaturvedi calls for digital tolerance to curb online trolls

Chaturvedi also noted that very few BJP leaders expressed solidarity with External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj who was abused on Twitter for helping an inter-faith couple in a passport-related row.

Published: 15th July 2018 02:42 AM  |   Last Updated: 15th July 2018 02:42 AM   |  A+A-

Congress spokesperson Priyanka Chaturvedi (File | PTI)

By PTI

GANDHINAGAR: Congress spokesperson Priyanka Chaturvedi, who was recently the target of vicious threats on social media, today called for "digital tolerance".

She also noted that very few BJP leaders expressed solidarity with External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj who was abused on Twitter for helping an inter-faith couple in a passport-related row.

"These (users of social) media. Are behaving in a way that is putting democracy in danger. The easiest method is to character-assassinate the woman, abuse her, threaten her so that she is scared and thinks why should I waste my time (engaging with people) when I have to face abuse," Chaturvedi said.

Rape threats and abuse, which family members of those who voice different opinions face, were "deplorable", Chaturvedi said, citing the recent instance when a Twitter user threatened to rape her 10-year-old daughter.

Chaturvedi filed a complaint against the account and subsequently, an Ahmedabad-based man was arrested.

"The medium to make people engage with democracy is now disengaging people," she said, adding that dragging somebody's family while attacking his or her opinions, using uncivilised language and threatening their children was "highly deplorable."

"Let's not make this a norm. Let's not rape threats become a norm," she said in her speech on growing intolerance on social media at a Youth Parliament organised at Karnavati University here.

On the abuse faced by Swaraj, the Congress spokesperson said that as many as "41 ministers" followed the Twitter handles that abused the minister and none bothered to tweet in her support.

"Digital tolerance is as much required as democratic tolerance. And if not everybody is heard in a democracy, it is not going to survive," she said, stressing that leaders cutting across political lines should take a stand against social media abuse.

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