During an ongoing spate of trolling on Twitter against Indian national men's cricket team captain Virat Kohli, a user going by the handle @criccrazyygirl posted a highly abusive comment, amounting to a rape threat, that was directed at Kohli's 10-month-old daughter.
Soon after the disturbing tweet went viral, several other users claimed that this account was run by a Pakistani user, as the profile picture was that of a woman wearing the Pakistani cricket team jersey.
However, BOOM found these claims to be false; our investigation of past tweets by this account revealed that it is run by a Telugu-speaking Indian right-wing user, who used to go by the handle @ramanheist, and is not run by a Pakistani user.
BOOM also reached out to Twitter for a comment on whether action has been taken against the account. The article shall be updated upon receiving a response.
The Vicious Troll Attack
Kohli came under heavy trolling on Sunday from Indian right-wing users on Twitter, after he defended teammate Mohammed Shami against Islamophobic comments and trolling that Shami himself had received, folllowing India's loss to Pakistan in a key match during the T20 World Cup in Dubai.
Social media users used the hashtag #DiwaliAsPerViratKohli, along with other derogatory hashtags, making reference to a recent tweet by Kohli where he offered to share tips with his followers on how to spend a meaningful Diwali.
In the midst of this trolling, a screenshot started going viral, which showed user @criccrazyygirl making the distressing comment at Kohli's infant daughter.
By the time BOOM tried to view the tweet, it had already been deleted. However, we did find an archive of the tweet. Trigger Warning - the tweet contains a rape threat directed at an infant, and can be distressing to some viewers.
Furthermore, while attempting to view the profile of the user, Twitter notified that it does not exist any more - suggesting that the handle name had either been changed, or the account has been deactivated.
As the screenshots of the tweet got more and more viral, several accounts started claiming that @criccrazyygirl is run by a Pakistani user.
To view an archive of the tweet above, click here.
While we could not find the account active, we found a Google cache snapshot of @criccrazyygirl's profile.
Looking through the retweets by the account in October, here is what we found:
1. The account retweeted posts related to Telangana and Hyderabad.
2. There were multiple retweets of posts in Telugu - the most spoken language in Hyderabad.
3. The account also retweets right-wing content. This includes posts about BJP, posts by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and a post by Nupur J Sharma, the editor-in-chief of right-wing Indian website OpIndia.
4. The user also shared a post by NoConversion - a right-wing account that spreads conspiracy theories regarding mass conversion of Hindus into Christianity.
This strongly suggested that the user is not from Pakistan, but from India, and more specifically from a Telugu speaking place - such as Hyderabad. The nature of the posts also suggested that the user is right-leaning, ideologically.
To further confirm the above observations, BOOM decided to probe further.
We archived the page, and found the unique Twitter ID associated with the account by viewing the source code of the page - 1386685474182369290. When we checked for any present handle by this account using the website Tweeter ID, we found it to be inactive.
We then started looking for possible older handles used by the account.
To do that, we searched for "@criccrazyygirl" on Twitter search. Going through the many posts about users reporting this account, we also found several others attempting to uncover past handles.
One such user claimed that the same user used to go by the handle @ramanheist, before changing it to @criccrazyygirl.
A quick search on Twitter with "@ramanheist" quickly led to a barrage of replies to @criccrazyygirl instead, suggesting they are the same account.
To probe further into the matter, and confirm that both these accounts are same and run from India, we visited Wayback Machine and searched for archives of posts made by @ramanheist using the profile link "https://twitter.com/ramanheist".
We found a post made by @ramanheist on September 9, 2021, in response to another post about Bank Nifty stocks. The archive of the tweet revealed that the account went by the name 'cheems'.
Yet again, we looked through the source code of the page to find the unique Twitter ID of the user @ramanheist.
According to the source code, the Twitter ID of @ramanheist is 1386685474182369290. This is the exact same Twitter ID that we found for @criccrazyygirl.
This suggests that the user @criccrazyy did indeed go by the name @ramanheist, and had changed the handle name recently.
The posts made by the user also reveal that he is from India, particularly from a Telugu speaking place, and supports the ruling-Bharatiya Janata Party and the Hindutva ideology.
Additional inputs by Sujith. A.
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