New Delhi: Former student leader of JNU Shehla Rashid has deactivated her Twitter account because the “toxicity and negativity” on the platform had started affecting her psychologically, said media reports on Tuesday. (Also read: After Gadkari Threatens Legal Action, Rashid Calls Her Tweet ‘Sarcastic’) Also Read - Twitter Removes Post Diminishing Efficacy of Masks Against COVID-19 by Donald Trump's Advisor
“After 8 yrs of using Twitter, I’m deactivating my account. I’ve tried engaging, I’ve tried blocking/reporting but the amount of toxicity & negativity that exists out here is insane. I can’t deal with such hate, lies and manipulation. Thanks to all of you who’ve been supportive,” said Rashid on Sunday. Also Read - 'Why All Feminists Show Cleavage' - Sona Mohapatra Was Asked This on Twitter And Here's What She Said
Talking to PTI, Rashid, who had close to 500 thousand followers, said her deactivating her Twitter should be seen as an “SOS call” to the microblogging platform. Also Read - Dhinchak Pooja is Back With 'Roz Roz Ka Kaam' & Twitter is Cringe-Laughing Hard | Watch At Your Own Risk
“The platform is such that it enables an ecosystem where abusers can gang up against you using many hashtags and it has been effectively used by the right-wing voices. It is not freedom of expression but an attack on freedom of expression,” she said.
She said it was not a good thing to wake up to abuse and almost a 1,000 such tweets daily had started taking a toll on her “psychologically”. “The platform has become polarised. If I extended condolences to the Opposition over something or even congratulated the Opposition over something, I used to get hate messages,” she said.
“Take the case of Jagrati Shukla (a consultant at Lok Sabha TV) whose Twitter account was suspended for hateful comments only recently. She had earlier tweeted in support of the Sikh genocide and other such messages but it was only now that her account was suspended,” she said.
Rubbishing the reports that Rashid left the microblogging platform since there were allegations against her of “not giving the funds she collected through crowdfunding for the Kathua gangrape victim”, she said, “This is rubbish! These allegations are being levelled for a long time now.” She said she wasn’t sure if she would ever return to Twitter.