Indians are often stereotyped as being a sentimental bunch of people. And if our social media activity this year is anything to go by, then we're not getting rid of that tag any time soon. The furore over Pakistan winning the ICC Champions Trophy finals is just the tip of the iceberg.
Local Twitter wars (think Sonu Nigam's azaan tweet, or Paresh Rawal lashing out at Arundhati Roy, or even the Shatrugan Sinha and Sushil Kumar Modi face-off) aside, here are five times "foreign forces" caused Indians to outrage on social media this year:
1. Megyn Kelly
Journalist Megyn Kelly rubbed Indians the wrong way after she was caught on camera asking Prime Minister Narendra Modi if he was on Twitter. With over 48 million, Modi is the world's third most followed political leader on Twitter, according to this Twiplomacy 2017 study.
Kelly's gaffe in St Petersburg in June had Indians by the dozen saying the same thing on social media – "Megyn Kelly who?"
2. Amazon: The Repeat Offender
Ten days into the new year and Amazon ruffled Indian feathers when it put up merchandise, designed to look like the Indian flag, on sale. Items like shoes and doormats, designed to look like the Tricolour, were being sold on the e-retail giant.
Things got so out of hand that even the usually composed and local sass queen Sushma Swaraj sent them a howler.
Amazon apologised, but later that week, it came under fire again for selling items, including skateboards with Hindu deities on them.
3. Katy Perry
Katy Perry was having, well, let's say a powerful kind of day, when she decided to post this on Instagram in April.
Things escalated pretty quickly from there.
Some threats were rather unusual, to say the least.
4. Oh Snap!
In April, hundreds of Indians began to uninstall and downrank the Snapchat app after an ex-employee of the social network alleged that its founder was not interested in expanding to India.
“This app is only for rich people... I don’t want to expand into poor countries like India and Spain.” Anthony Pompliano quoted Evan Spiegel as saying, Variety reported.
Also Read: Snapchat ratings bear brunt of public outrage
While Evan Spiegel later denied making the comments, the damage had already been done.
In an unexpected twist, e-retailers Snapdeal found themselves at the end of some misguided anger after users began to uninstall the Snapdeal app instead of Snapchat.
Also Read: Miffed & Confused, Indians Uninstall Snapdeal Instead of Snapchat
Things got ugly after Indian social media users began to target model Miranda Kerr, blaming her for then boyfriend Spiegel's comments.
5. Gordon Ramsay
When Twitter user @Sychlops tweeted a photo of medu vada to Gordon Ramsay, he may have forgotten about the celebrity chef's famous acerbic tongue.
@Sychlops wasn’t too riled up about the attention.
But the outrage was far from over.
When Does Online Outrage Become Harassment?
From outraging over Kendall Jenner being picked for the cover of Vogue India, to trolling Farrah Abraham for wearing a pink lehenga to an awards function, Indians took to social media by the horde to register their protest. While some of these instances make for amusing stories, things seldom end at criticism, with many choosing to troll the said person. Things get uglier if a woman is involved.
Cyberbullying in the Indian social media space has seen a spike in recent times, perhaps compounded by the lack of legislation for dealing with cyber harassment and trolling.
Don’t understand how a social media post can be dangerous? Read more about the dangerous world of online trolling on The Quint:
You Slut!’: The Anonymous World of Twitter Misogyny
“R**di TV ki R**d Anchor...”: Barkha Dutt, Trolls & Sexual Slurs
We Don’t Have Any Law To Deal With Online Intimidation in India
The Curious Case of Indian Internet Troll
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