Was Virat Kohli's Daughter Trolled by a Pakistani Twitter Account?
The account that posted abusive tweets about Virat Kohli has changed its username/handle six times since April.
(Editor's Note: The story was first published on 1 November and has been republished from The Quint's archives in the light of Mumbai Police arresting a man from Hyderabad for targeting Virat Kohli's daughter.)
(Descriptions of sexual assault and physical violence. Reader discretion is advised.)
After India lost to New Zealand in the T20 World Cup match on Sunday, 31 October, the Indian cricket team, especially captain Virat Kohli, have been at the receiving end of some intense trolling and abuse from people on Twitter.
Some trolls even targeted Kohli's nine-month-old daughter and wife Anushka Sharma.
A particularly abusive tweet called for the toddler's photo to be revealed while putting out a rape threat. It was posted by a handle called "@Criccrazyygirl" and was shared by several people.
While some criticised the comments made by the user, others claimed that it was a Pakistani Twitter account.
However, we went through the archives of this Twitter account and found:
The account was created in April 2021.
The username and handle of the account was changed multiple times.
We found that the user had interacted with several Indian accounts and had had conversations about investing in India.
We also found a tweet in which the user had a conversation in Telugu.
While we were unable to narrow down the exact location of the user, it's past activity does not conclusively prove that it was from Pakistan. In fact, at one point, the account's location was Tokyo, Japan.
6 Months, 6 Different Usernames/Handles
The account was deactivated after posting the abusive tweets against Kohli and his family.
Before deactivating the account, the last username of the account was "Amena" with the same name written in Urdu along with flag of Pakistan. The handle was "@criccrazyygirl".
We checked all the tweets archived under the account (@criccrazyygirl) and found tweets made by the account from 18 September till 31 October.
A tweet posted by the account on 18 September showed the username as "Criccrazygirl" and it continued to be so at least until 24 October. The description of the account read, "#IPL #Virat #Dhoni #Rohit".
A user, Ajayendra Urmila Tripathi, whose profile describes him as an open source intelligence expert, and a few others on Twitter found old usernames and handles of the accounts and posted screenshots of the same.
Some of other usernames/handles of the user were:
We matched the Twitter IDs of all these accounts with '@Criccrazyygirl' and found that they were all the same – 1386685474182369290.
In the subsequent section, we will demonstrate how this Twitter account changed the username, handle and even the location in some instances.
Account Name 1: '@thestraddleguy'
The account's handle was called @thestraddleguy from 24 July to 24 August, during which it posted multiple abusive posts against Kohli and Anushka, while occasionally making queries about trading in the stock market – a habit that continued with all the Twitter handles.
The username of the account during this time was "tokyo" and the account didn't have a bio but a location tag was added, which said the account was from Japan.
Account Name 2: '@StellaisBihp'
From 24 August till 9 September, the account's handle was "@StellaisBihp", while the username continued to be 'tokyo'.
The description of the account remained empty while the location, like the previous iteration of the handle, was Japan.
A Twitter conversation with a handle on 8-9 September shows the change of name as well.
We also found another conversation from 8 September in which the user can be seen having a conversation in Telugu.
Account Name 3: '@ramanheist'
From 9 till 18 September, the account's handle and username was changed to @ramanheist and "cheems" respectively. The description remained blank while the location was updated to "Dog Creek 46, Manitoba".
Most of the archived interactions of the account seems to have been with Indian accounts. While talking about trading too, the account has interacted with other Indians.
While we were not able to find the exact geolocation of the user, the interactions, tweets and multiple changes in the username/handles is an indication that the one can't conclusively say that the user was a Pakistani person.
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