Bollywood actress Kangana Ranaut's Twitter account reinstated following permanent ban

She was removed from the platform in 2021 for violating the its policies on hateful conduct and abusive behaviour

Kangana Ranaut is back on Twitter after being banned in May 2021. AFP
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Bollywood actress Kangana Ranaut is back on Twitter following her permanent ban from the platform almost two years ago. Ranaut, who had often been called out for her vitriolic posts, was removed from the platform in May 2021 for an incendiary post about election results in West Bengal.

Hers is among thousands of other previously banned accounts — including that of former US president Donald Trump — that have been reactivated after Tesla boss Elon Musk bought the social media giant in October for $44 billion.

"Hello everyone, it's nice to be back here," Ranaut tweeted on Tuesday before writing a thread slamming India's film industry as "crass" and obsessed with money.

Ranaut, the award-winning star of 2013's Queen and 2015's Tanu Weds Manu Returns, had attracted controversy over her outspoken social media presence and frequent spats with fellow actors and filmmakers.

She is also an ardent supporter of Hindu nationalist Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Ranaut at the Cannes Film Festival in 2019. Getty Images

In May 2021, Ranaut, 35, sent out a tweet urging Modi to show the strength he showed in “early 2000s” to “tame” incumbent West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee. Violence had broken out in West Bengal after state election results revealed that Banerjee would hold on to power for another term, defeating Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

In the tweet, the actress seemed to reference the Gujarat riots of 2002 when, during Modi's rule as chief minister, a communal riot broke out between Hindus and Muslims. More than 1,044 people died in the three-day riots, a majority of them Muslims.

Twitter said Ranaut violated the platform's policies on hateful conduct and abusive behaviour.

"We've been clear that we will take strong enforcement action on behaviour that has the potential to lead to offline harm. The referenced account has been permanently suspended for repeated violations of Twitter rules specifically our Hateful Conduct policy and Abusive Behaviour policy," a Twitter representative told NDTV.

"As explained in our abusive behaviour policy, you may not engage in the targeted harassment of someone, or incite other people to do so. We consider abusive behaviour an attempt to harass, intimidate or silence someone else's voice.”

Ranaut had also attacked pop superstar Rihanna for tweeting about mass protests by farmers in India, calling the singer "a fool" and the farmers "terrorists" for opposing new agriculture laws.

Twitter's reinstatement of Ranaut came as Twitter and other social media platforms were under fire for obeying a government order to block links to a BBC documentary about Modi's role during deadly 2002 sectarian riots.

Activists especially criticised the takedown by Twitter since Musk has described himself as a free speech "absolutist" and accused the platform's previous ownership of bending to US government demands on content matters.

— Additional reporting by AFP

Updated: January 26, 2023, 5:32 AM
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