27/07/2016 3:46 PM IST | Updated 27/07/2016 5:24 PM IST

Why Is A Government-Backed Twitter Handle Retweeting Abusive Tweets?

Strange, very strange.


In January this year Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched an initiative to incubate India's startup environment. The launch of Startup India at Vigyan Bhawan in the national capital drew some of India's brightest entrepreneurs.

The objective of the ambitious programme was to give Indian startups a leg up. The Twitter handle of the website, @startupindia, routinely tweets out various government initiatives. However, a Twitter user recently spotted something very odd. The handle seemed to have retweeted a couple of troll tweets, one of which issued a veiled threat to journalists.

The tone and text of one of the tweets is conversant with what right-wing trolls use regularly to belittle journalists on Twitter. The user asked for the Indian army to be "freed" for a day to "take care of pro-Pak presstitutes". The vile term, by the way, was used by union minister VK Singh to describe corrupt scribes, insinuating that many from the media have traded their principles for kickbacks.

Twitter user Joy Das called out the handle:

It was soon noticed by politicians.

And other users.

After the backlash, the handle issued an apology.

It leaves many questions unanswered, the primary one being why would a government-backed Twitter handle RT troll tweets, and especially one directed against the media?

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