The micro-blogging site Twitter has temporarily restricted the social media account of Rashmi Samant, the Oxford student who was forced to resign from the post of president-elect of Oxford University Student Union recently after becoming a victim of intense online bullying campaign.
According to Shashank Shekhar Jha, the legal editor of Goa Chronicle, Samant’s Twitter account was arbitrarily suspended on March 8. The micro-blogging site had claimed that the user had created her social media account when she was 13 and contended that it violated Twitter policies.
The account has been active for 11 years & suddenly Twitter feels to suspend it.— Shashank Shekhar Jha (@shashank_ssj) March 8, 2021
Looking closely through the account, it could be easily understood that all past tweets were deleted starting this year which apparently means that there are no tweets from when Rashmi was below 13.
Twitter said that Samant could recover her account if she deletes her old tweets, likes on the micro-blogging site, according to Jha.
Two days later, Twitter has arbitrarily removed most of her old social media posts that were posted years back. It has also restored the account after 36 hours, however, by removing all the accounts she had followed in the past.
Speaking on the arbitrary suspension, Rashmi Samant wrote, “When I thought I could not be humiliated more, my account was suspended. Restored after 36 hours with zero followers,” said Samant in her Twitter post.
When I thought I could not be humiliated even more, my account was suspended. Restored after 36 hours with zero followers. Freedom of Speech? https://t.co/yXgblIDAcs— Rashmi Samant (@Rashmidvs) March 9, 2021
Currently, her account is temporarily restricted and Twitter has attached a warning to her account saying that there has been some unusual activity from Rashmi Samant’s account.
The micro-blogging site has not yet given a detailed clarification regarding the nature of violations that were committed by Rashmi Samant in her posts even as it arbitrarily suspended her account.
However, the strange behaviour of the micro-blogging site is not at all surprising as time-and-again Twitter has banned or censured accounts that exposes left-liberals or posts nationalistic contents on its platform.
Rashmi Samant – a victim of bullying by anti-Hindu propagandists
Rashmi Samant – the woman from Karnataka who had become the first female Indian elect of Oxford University Student’s Union, had to resign her post after being abused, bullied and targeted for being a Hindu and over her views against colonisation.
In a coordinated attack by leftists and the anti-Hindu propagandists, Rashmi Samant’s old social media posts were dredged up, accusing her of being racist, anti-semitic, Islamophobic, transphobic. Her Hindu roots were attacked too. Even her parents were dragged into it and she was painted as a anti-Muslim just because of her place of residence and faith. Samant was elected to the prestigious post on February 11 and within a week, she had to tender her resignation after facing a barrage of online criticism and abuse.
The controversy erupted after Cherwell, a weekly student newspaper published by Oxford, reported that Rashmi had commented on an image on Instagram of herself in Malaysia with the words “Ching Chang”, a pun involving the Holocaust. In another post, Rashmi had allegedly drawn a comparison between Former Prime Minister of the Cape Colony (present-day South Africa) Cecil Rhodes and Adolf Hitler in a Student Union presidential debate. Bizarrely, Samant was also accused of separating ‘women’ and ‘transwomen’ in a caption.
Besides this, Rashmi was also targeted for being a devout Hindu. One of the faculty members in Oxford – Dr Abhijit Sarkar had even dragged Rashmi’s parents into the controversy, attacking them for having a Lord Shri Ram display picture on their social media accounts while claiming that Rashmi’s student council elections were funded by Prime Minister Modi.
He had even accused Rashmi of being Islamophobic by alleging that she came from coastal Karnataka, which the faculty member termed as “a bastion of Islamophobic far-right forces”.
Following the controversy, netizens from across the world had demanded the dismissal of Hinduphobic faculty AbhijitSarkar and had trended hashtag #DismissAbhijitSarkar on Twitter.