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Twitter permanently suspends Kangana Ranaut’s account

Twitter this morning suspended Bollywood actor Kangana Ranaut’s account for violating platform rules after she posted a series of incendiary tweets condemning the results of the West Bengal Assembly election in which the All India Trinamool Congress (TMC) beat the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP). Ranaut made a series of comments on the alleged violence that took place following the results and called for President’s Rule in the state using the hashtag #PresidentRuleInBengal.

A Twitter spokesperson confirmed to Press Trust of India (PTI) that this suspension is permanent.

What tweets might have led to the suspension?

Her last tweet before the account got suspended retweeted a video showing TMC members allegedly beating up BJP women workers. Ranaut commented that this is what happens when demons get power.

In the tweet before this, which directly calls for violence, Ranaut reshared a tweet that claims thousands of Hindu families were escaping “marauding mobs” who were targeting BJP supporters. Adding her own comment to this, Ranaut appears to call West Bengal Chief Minsters Mamata Banerjee, without directly naming her, an “unleashed monster” and says “we need a super gundai to kill gundai” and asks Modi to “tame her” using his “Virat Roop from early 2000s.” Many saw this as a reference to the infamous communal riots that took place in Gujarat in 2002.

Twitter told PTI that Ranaut’s account was suspended for violating Hateful Conduct and Abusive Behaviour policies. According to the platform’s rules on Hateful Conduct, users may not “promote violence against, threaten, or harass other people on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, caste, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religious affiliation, age, disability, or serious disease.” Twitter’s Abusive Behaviour policy states that a user “may not engage in the targeted harassment of someone, or incite other people to do so. This includes wishing or hoping that someone experiences physical harm.”

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What has Ranaut said?

Twitter has only proved my point they’re Americans & by birth, a white person feels entitled to enslave a brown person, they want to tell you what to think, speak or do. I have many platforms I can use to raise my voice, including my own art in the form of cinema – Ranaut, in a statement to news agency Asian News International (ANI).

Ranaut further added that her heart goes out to the people of this nation “who have been tortured, enslaved, and censored for thousands of years, and still, there is no end to the suffering.”

Ranaut’s Instagram account remains active and she shared a video on it condemning the violence in West Bengal and called for emergency rule in the state, minutes before her Twitter account suspension.

Not the first time

This is not the first time Ranaut has found herself in trouble for her tweets. Last December, a petition was filed in the Bombay High Court seeking direction to Twitter to suspend Ranaut’s account for “spreading continuous hatred, disharmony in the country and attempting to divide the country with her extremist tweets.”

Earlier this year, her account was temporarily suspended by the micro-blogging platform for incendiary tweet against Amazon Prime Video series Tandav, in which she referred to the team behind the series and said it was “time to take their heads off.” Back then, Twitter said that the actor violated the platform’s policy on Abusive Behaviour. Although the tweet was deleted, Ranaut refused to apologize for her comments.

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