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Female politician facing abuse on social media

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It has been said that the higher you go, the more people will try to bring you down – the same proverb is also seen in the case of women politicians. The higher a woman goes in her field, the greater the level of hatred she faces in the form of abuses. Social media has become a common platform to abuse women as illustrated in our earlier report “Outspoken women often trolled by Right-wing”.

This report covers the most renowned politicians facing criticism on social media, even if they have social media account or not.

Can this country give equal respect to woman as man receives in his field?

With the above question in mind, trying to evaluate the abuse that women politicians face in a country called India.

  1. Mamata Banerjee

Mamata Banerjee

Mamata Banerjee is an Indian politician and academic who is serving as the ninth and current chief minister of the Indian state of West Bengal since 2011, the first woman to hold the office. She founded the All-India Trinamool Congress (AITC or TMC) in 1998 after separating from the Indian National Congress, and became its first chairperson.

She is often referred to as Didi by the one who appreciate her work. But some who doesn’t appreciate her work, use abusive words for her as is shown below:

Derogatory Content on twitter for West Bengal’s Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee
  1. Sonia Gandhi

Sonia Gandhi

Sonia Gandhi is an Indian politician. She is the Working president of the Indian National Congress, a big tent political party, which has governed India for most of its post-independence history. She took over as the party leader in 1998, seven years after the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi, her husband and a former Prime Minister of India, and remained in office until 2017 after serving for twenty-two years. She returned to the post in 2019 after her son, Rahul Gandhi, resigned.

Even though she is not present on any social media platform, but still the hatred for her can be observed on twitter. Twitterati are seen using abusive words along with the hashtag #SoniaGandhi.

Derogatory Content on twitter for INC Party Leader Sonia Gandhi
  1. Mayawati:

Mayawati

Mayawati is an Indian politician and social reformer. She has served four separate terms as Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh. She is the national president of the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), which focuses on a platform of social change for Bahujans, more commonly known as Other Backward Castes, Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes as well as converted minorities from these castes. She was chief minister briefly in 1995 and again in 1997, then from 2002 to 2003 and from 2007 to 2012.

The hate for her can be seen on social media platform like twitter. People publicly use abusive words for her.

Derogatory Content on twitter for Indian Politician Mayawati
  1. Nirmala Sitharaman:

Nirmala Sitharaman

Nirmala Sitharaman is an Indian economist and politician serving as the current Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs of India. She is a member of the Rajya Sabha, upper house of the Indian Parliament, since 2014. Sitharaman formerly served as the Defence Minister of India, thereby becoming India’s second female defence minister and also the second female finance minister after Indira Gandhi and first full-time female Finance Minister. She has served as the Minister of State for Finance and Corporate Affairs under the Ministry of Finance and the Minister for Commerce and Industry with independent charge.

Irrespective of Sitharaman’s name being listed in the 100 most powerful women by Forbes 2020, she is criticized and abused for the work she is doing.

Derogatory Content on twitter for Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman
  1. Mehbooba Mufti:

Mehbooba Mufti

Mehbooba Mufti is an Indian politician of the Jammu and Kashmir Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), who served as the last Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir as a State, from 4 April 2016 to 19 June 2018.

Mufti was the first woman to hold the office of Chief Minister in Jammu & Kashmir. She faces abuse on Facebook and Twitter both.

Derogatory Content on twitter for Indian Politician Mehbooba Mufti
Derogatory Content on Facebook for Indian Politician Mehbooba Mufti

Such kind of abuse only demotivates women from doing something great.

  1. Priyanka Gandhi:

Priyanka Gandhi

Priyanka Gandhi Vadra is an Indian politician and the general secretary of the All India Congress Committee. She also faces criticism and abuse on social media.

Derogatory Content on Twitter for Indian Politician Priyanka Gandhi
  1. Alka Lamba

Alka Lamba

Alka Lamba is an Indian politician. After serving the Indian National Congress in various capacities for more than 20 years, she quit to join the Aam Aadmi Party on 26 December 2014. In February 2015, Lamba was elected to the Delhi Legislative Assembly from Chandni Chowk. She quit AAP in September 2019 citing disrespect for her within the party. Hate for her can be seen on social media.

Derogatory Content on Twitter for Indian Politician Alka Lamba
  1. Swati Maliwal

Swati Maliwal

Swati Maliwal is an Indian activist and politician. She is the current Chairperson of Delhi Commission for Women. She was a core member of the Indian Against Corruption movement led by social activist Anna Hazare and Arvind Kejriwal.

Irrespective of giving such a good service to the nation, she faces abuse on Social Media platforms like Facebook and Twitter.

Derogatory Content on Twitter for Indian Politician Swati Maliwal
Derogatory Content on Facebook for Indian Politician Swati Maliwal
  1. Smriti Irani:

Smriti Irani

Smriti Zubin Irani is an Indian politician and a former television actress and producer. She is the Minister of Women and Child Development in the Union Cabinet of India since May 2019. Hate for her can be commonly seen on Social media.

Derogatory Content on Twitter for Indian Politician Smriti Irani
  1. Vasundhara Raje

Vasundhara Raje

Vasundhara Raje Scindia is an Indian politician and a former chief minister of Rajasthan. Even she faces abuse on social media.

Derogatory content on Twitter for Indian politician Vasundhara Raje

Mostly the abusive words used by the accounts for the woman politicians can be seen the word cloud shown below:

Word Cloud

During our research, we found hundreds of accounts abusing the politicians named above. On analyzing them, our team found out some common accounts among them that are abusing almost all the powerful women, we have talked in our report.

Pink box represents the common accounts, which were abusing most of the woman politicians, we discussed in this report.

 

On analyzing some accounts which were found to be abusing most of the women politicians, we found three types of accounts:

  1. The account which seem to be the supporter of BJP, abuses the women politicians of Congress and AAP Party
  2. The account which seem to be supporter of Congress, abuses the women politicians of BJP and AAP Party.
  3. Those accounts which hate politics and all political parties are abusing all the women politicians.

Whether you support any political party or hate every party, but does it give you any right to abuse female politician?

Table 1: Accounts abusing women politicians categorized into 3 groups
Category Accounts
Congress Supporter 1. Sabir_rohit

Abusing Swati Maliwal

Abusing Alka Lamba

2. CharuRaina1

Abusing Smriti Irani

Abusing Nirmala Sitharaman

BJP Supporter 1. MRITYUN15441835

Abuse for Mehbooba Mufti

Abuse for Alka Lamba

Abuse for Mamata Banerjee

Abuse for Priyanka Gandhi

2. anandu_kunjumon

Abusing Mamata Banerjee

Abusing Alka Lamba

Hates Political Parties 1. CunningLamma

Abuse for Alka Lamba

Abuse for Mayawati

Abuse for Mehbooba Mufti

2. truthneverhide

Abusing Smriti Irani

Abusing Nirmala Sitharaman


Bot Accounts in the accounts which are using abusive words for women Politician

Not only this but some bot accounts were also seen, which posts same content 10-12 times at same time. Example, A_S_Choudhary. This account is seen using abusive words for Priyanka Gandhi and Alka Lamba. Along with this abusive activity, our team has administered some bot activity by this account. This account can also be said as amplifier account, which is used to amplify some content.

Tweet related to Punjab Farmers have been pushed 10-12 times by this account, with same content and at same time.

 

Tweet related to Rajasthan have been pushed 14-15 times by this account, with same content and at same time.

 

One more interesting point that was noted in the analysis of the above accounts was that these accounts reply percentage is more than their tweets and retweets. It seems that some accounts are made just for replying abusive accounts.

Our last report on women abuses also listed some abusive accounts. When our team tried to compare those accounts with the accounts enlisted in this report, it was found that some accounts were common in both the lists, like, @neethuloyan, @sanjayparmar83 and @nick03601

Key Findings from the above accounts which were spreading abuse are:

  1. Accounts which mostly abused are shown in the below graph. The top accounts, which were found abusing are @sachin60769106, @shashwatmanapu5, @mosharr89154978, @bad_ass_moron, @truthneverhide .
Accounts which were found mostly abusing

The above listed accounts does not have more than 65 followers and are mostly in dormant state, they are mostly active for replying and not posting content. Reply percentage of these accounts is mostly above 90%.

Tweets using abusive words from the above accounts.

Abusive tweets from @sachin60769106

Abusive Tweets from @shashwatmanapu5

 

  1. Creation Timeline of Accounts: The accounts which are seen abusing female politicians are mostly created in 2019 and 2020.
Accounts Creation Timeline

Maximum accounts were created on Feb, 2019.

  1. It was found the amount of hate and abusive words was mostly coming from RSS Supporters account or the accounts which have written RSS Supporter in the description in their profile. The accounts include @KomaramBheemJai, @Skaranveer192, @surinde26409760, @Im_sandipkant, @dvicky_031, @Alagar92017936 and @anandkumarbd29
Table 2: Accounts having RSS Supporter written in their description using abusive words for politicians
@dvicky_031 abusing Priyanka Gandhi

@anandkumarbd29 abusing Mehbooba Mufti

@KomaramBheemJai abusing Mamata Banerjee

@Im_sandipkant abusing Mamata Banerjee

@Skaranveer192 abusing Mamata Banerjee

@surinde26409760 abusing Mamata Banerjee

 

Let us all together create a safer place for women, let’s give them their space and report all the accounts that are abusing them.

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DFRAC Editor
DFRAC Editorhttps://dfrac.org
Digital Forensics, Research and Analytics Centre (DFRAC) is a non-partisan and independent media organisation which focuses on fact-checking and identifying hate speech. With the popularisation of the internet came the challenge of information overload and often times, our feeds are overpopulated with conflicting, incendiary and false information which is increasingly becoming difficult to ignore and not believe in

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