Bollywood actor Radhika Apte has been trending on Twitter since Friday, but not in a good way - social media users are calling for her boycott, using the hashtag #BoycottRadhikaApte. The outrage was for nothing she did recently, but for a film she starred in six years ago.
Social media users tweeting out this hashtag were outraging about Apte's choice of doing intimate and nude scenes for Leena Yadav's 2015 drama Parched, due to some screenshots from the film going viral. Most of the tweets also contained a screenshot from the film, showing Apte kissing her co-actor.
BOOM analysed the tweets and found a strong connection between the accounts to the right-wing, particularly the Bharatiya Janata Party. We also traced three verified accounts of BJP members, along with a verified handle of Hindutva and BJP supporter, who were all followed by top BJP leaders.
The Right-Wing Connection
While Twitter Explore showed over 14,000 tweets being made with the hashtag, BOOM was only able to scrape around 3,000 tweets.
Furthermore, throughout the course of our analysis, we found many of the tweets being deleted intermittently. It aligns with a similar trend we have observed with other hashtags promoted by the right-wing, where tweets are deleted on the same day, minutes after a hashtag begins to trend
Due to this, we were unable to find the exact number of tweets that have been posted with the hashtag recently.
On Friday, August 13, the hashtag started being tweeted right after 7am. We found that the initial tweets frequently carried text that asked for making the hashtag trend in the platform.
Most of these accounts visibly appeared to be supporters of the right-wing Hindutva ideology, and also BJP supporters.
Verified BJP Members, Supporters In The Midst
Furthermore, we also found a number of verified accounts tweeting out this hashtag. From 10am onwards on Friday, the hashtag was tweeted out primarily by verified news media outlets reporting on the trend.
However, from 7am to 8.30am, the only verified accounts to tweet it out were right-wing BJP supporter Yogi Devnath (@YogiDevnath2), and three members of the Bharatiya Janata Party - Anil Sharma (@AnilSharma4BJP), Manish SIngh (@MSinghBJP) and Arun Yadav (@beingarun28).
While Devnath, Singh and Sharma have still kept their tweets up, Yadav - who is leads BJP's IT Cell in Haryana - deleted the tweet he made with the hashtag.
Yadav was also tagged on many of the tweets carrying the viral hashtag.
Furthermore, all four of them followed each other, and were also followed by other top BJP leaders, including Union ministers like Nirmala Sitharaman and Piyush Goyal. Manish Singh (@MSinghBJP) was also followed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Some SSRians Jumped In As Well
We also found a number of tweets by supporters of conspiracy theories around Sushant Singh Rajput, who call themselves SSRians, who used this hashtag for calling out Apte for apparently insulting Rajput in the past.
Some Were Opposing The Trend
Later on in the day, we found more and more tweets by people who opposed the hashtag, and used it in tweets to call out the outrage as misogynist in nature.
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