NEW DELHI: On social media, we often see anonymous handles get away with all kinds of abuse, threats of physical harm and more. However, what explains a Twitter handle associated with a registered company deliberately defaming people and invoking acts of violence against people. And yet Twitter doesn’t seem to notice it at all.

MyVoteToday, a mobile e-polling application, created by Apption Digital Technologies Pvt Ltd based in Bangalore and Apption Digial Inc. based in Palo Alto, California, is currently running a poll via their Twitter account which poses the following question:

To #MakeIndiaGreatAgain which of the 66 alleged #EnemiesOfIndia have to be silenced .

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66 men and women have been chosen and their pictures are splashed over hundreds of posts urging people to vote in Twitter polls which is to eventually decide which #EnemiesOfIndia need to be silenced.

The 66 people who were declared #EnemiesOfIndia and some of whom need to be ‘silenced’ to #MakeIndiaGreatAgain are as follows:

Abhishek Mishra, Abdul Ghani Lone, Ajai Shukla, Akar Patel, Amartya Sen, Anand Grover, Angana Chatterjee, Anna Hazare, Ankit Lal, Archana Prasad, Arfa Khanum Sherwani, Arundhati Roy, Asaduddin Owaisi, Asiya Andrabi, Barkha Dutt, Comrade Nambiar, Digvijay Singh, Father Cedric Prakash, Farooq & Omar Abdullah, Gaurav Pandhi, Irfan Habib, Javed Akhtar, John Dayal, Kancha Ilaiah, Kanhaiya Kumar, Karan Thapar, Kavita Krishnan, Kawasi Lukhma, MM Mani, Mamata Banerjee, Martha Nussbaum, Maulana Ansar Raza, Medha Patkar, Meera Nanda, Mirwaiz Umaar Farooq, Nandini Sundar, Pinarayi Vijayan, Prashant Bhushan, Prannoy Roy, P Chidambaram, Rajdeep Sardesai, Ram Guha, Rana Ayyub, Richa Keshav, Romilla Thapar, Sagarika Ghose, Salman Khurshid, Sanjay Parate, Sanjiv Bhatt, Shabana Azmi, Shehla Rashid, Shekhar Gupta, Sitaram Yechury, Sonia Gandhi, Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Teesta Setalvad, Tripta Wahi, Umar Khalid, Vijay Prashad, Vinay Lal, Vinit Tiwari, Vrinda Grover, Yasin Malik, Mani Shankar Aiyar, Rahul Pandita, Zakir Naik

From Journalists to Professors to Artists to Students to Separatists to Politicians and 2 serving Chief Ministers namely West Bengal’s Mamta Banerjee and Kerala’s Pinari Vijayan, the list is quite extensive. Some of these people need to be silenced according to MyVoteToday. Consider that most of these people are not really the ‘silent’ kind, wonder what “need to be silenced” really means? In any case, running a campaign by terming certain people as #EnemiesOfIndia is patently defamatory.

In February, this same handle ran a poll asking which person among the 96 chosen men and women would people like to #SLAP. The contest was called #MVTSlapBoard. Such polls promote a culture of violence and are especially dangerous in this day and age when mob lynching incidents happen almost every week.

If you could #SLAP just ONE person who would it be?

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Other than MyVoteToday, the company also seems to runs a few more Twitter handles namely “MVT_JustForFun“, “MyVotr“, “PollCourt” and “MVT_NEWS“. These Twitter handles keep retweeting each other all the time and they are followed by the Company Twitter handle namely “apptiondigital“.

Here’s a glimpse of the kind of polls MVT_JustForFun runs. In this one, they ask as to who among the four women in the picture would one like to spend a weekend with on a remote island.

Or what is your favorite colour, and one has to choose a colour corresponding to bikini bottoms of the following women.

The results of the earlier poll were broadcast by the myVOTR Twitter handle.

Both the poll results as well as the poll questions were retweeted by the main MyVoteToday Twitter handle.

MyVoteToday Twitter account is routinely abusive as well even when not running polls. When Congress spokesperson Priyanka Chaturvedi objected to MyVoteToday running a poll as to who is the ‘hottest’ spokesperson, MyVoteToday’s response was anything but civil. They later deleted this abhorrent tweet.

There are many other examples of their abusive polls and tweets. In the following tweet, pretty sure they didn’t want to call Omar Abdullah a ‘bustard’, considering ‘bustard’ is a bird. There are these other tweets where journalists have been polled for being the most #AntiModiPresstitute. Or who’s the most #DirtyRottenScoundrel.

That is the sort of e-polling that MyVoteToday is doing, from asking who needs to be ‘silenced’ and ‘slapped’ to who do you want to spend a weekend with on a remote island. Who’s behind this ‘noble’ idea? The three directors of the company Apption Digital Private Limited who created the MyVoteToday mobile application are Amit Bagaria, Bhoopalam Gopalakrishna Mahesh and Samridh Agarwal. Amit Bagaria is the CEO.

Bhoopalam Gopalakrishna Mahesh, more popularly known as BG Mahesh, is also thedirector and founder of Greynium Information Technologies Private Limited which runs the multi-lingual news website OneIndia.

BG Mahesh gained popularity as one of the main guys behind the campaign for Narendra Modi which saw Mr Modi become the PM of India.

The CEO of the company Amit Bagaria calls himself a ‘nationalist’. He’s very active on Twitter and routinely retweets posts from the Twitter accounts MyVoteToday, MVT_JustForFun and MyVotR. Retweets include polls such as #EnemiesOfIndia. He seems to be an accomplished businessman based on the sheer number of companies he’s a director of.

At the time of writing, MyVoteToday has a Twitter following of 566,290 and 707,822 followers on Facebook. In their ‘About Us‘ page, MyVoteToday’s stated objective is to “keep the concept of ‘democracy’ alive by seeking public opinion on all crucial issues”. While all of us want the Indian democracy to be healthy and thriving, will that be achieved by asking people who they want slapped or who they want silenced? If at all, they are actually against the very spirit of democracy. Even though they have been reported several times for the kind of content they promote and the kind of abuses that their Twitter handle heaps on others, Twitter continues to give it the distinction of an official ‘blue tick’ i.e. a verified account. Has Twitter as a platform completely abdicated its responsibility of maintaining any sort of sanity or civility?