Social media trolling has reached Parliament. In an explosive speech in the Rajya Sabha, Trinamool Congress leader and member of parliament Derek O’Brien called out the fact that Twitter users with right wing leanings routinely abuse people they see as opponents.
Quoting journalist Swati Chaturvedi’s I Am a Troll, O’Brien said that 26 of such users, who issue rape and communal threats on Twitter, are followed by the prime minister of India. He specifically mentioned Twitter user Rahul Raj as one of these trolls.
Textile minister Smriti Irani took issue with the last point and asked for any reference to Rahul Raj, “a common citizen” to be expunged from the record. Raj had other defenders too, with a petition being started as well. However, there is past evidence linking Raj to spreading communal rumours.
There was both support for and opposition to O’Brien’s accusations on Twitter.