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STOP HATE: Citizens' statement against Twitter for failing to check hate, offensive content on its platform

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NEW DELHI: Expressing deep concern over increasing hate on Twitter in India, and the new phenomenon of coordinated 'hate hashtag attacks'--running offensive trends and giving calls for boycott of entire community, citizens have issued a statement. 

People from all walks of life including journalists, activists, educationists, lawyers, engineers, doctors, entrepreneurs and citizens concerned have urged Twitter to stop the hate-peddlers from misusing its platform and urging it to act as a responsible company. 

After journalists Asad Ashraf and Shams Ur Rehman Alavi came up with the statement, over 250 persons endorsed it. Now it would be sent to Twitter officials and relevant authorities. Also, other steps would be taken to ensure that online hate on this platform could be checked and the forces trying to disrupt peace and harmony are stopped.

The statement says that Twitter must act tough against people who with a malafide intention target peace and harmony in the country by tweeting inflammatory stuff. Such messages, particularly, open calls for discrimination and boycott against any group or community [Musalmanon ka sampoorn bahishkar, a hashtag, that means complete boycott of Muslims], violate the principles enshrined in Indian constitution, must not be allowed on Twitter.

People who tried to 'trend' this call for boycott of an entire community, should have been blocked by the Twitter authorities and such trends must be checked. Indian constitution strictly prohibits any discrimination on the basis of caste, community, creed and gender. 

Over 250 people endorsed it. The statement further says that hate speech is flourishing on Twitter though it is clearly an attempt to divide society on religious lines, something that has the potential to disrupt harmony and tear the social fabric in the country.

"Despite reporting the accounts, they remain active...many of the hate-peddlers have been found sharing content that was found fake by independent fact-checkers and government agencies, yet their accounts remain active..."

The statement says that unfortunately Twitter doesn't seem interested in taking action against such messages and hate speech though it causes fissuers in society and propaganda on social media has led to violence-mob attacks. 

Citing example of how propaganda and targeted demonizing of minorities has resulted in killings in other parts of the world, the statement asks Twitter to stop hateful hashtags, act tough on accounts that violate law and that it shouldn't allow inflammatory messages to be spread through its platform.