Does Shehla Rashid really face a lot of online abuse? To check, the first stop was her verified account on Facebook. On analysing the comments on her profile picture, a quick glance showed that around 15% of the comments were of an abusive or inappropriate nature. 15% is 15% too much. For example:
“Saheli you r bitch. Antinational.”
“Teri ma ka chut m c randi.”
“Rahul ki rakhel… Rahul Gandhi se chudvati hai…”
“Allah apko jaldi upar bulaye yahi duva he hamari…”
“Shehla, may your teeth break into pieces…”
“Doob ke marja shehla… tune bachi ko bhi nahi jhoda…..unn paiso se kya apna ghar bhara tune… shame on uuu.”
“Chutiya aurat… Allah taala teko kabhi maaf nhi karega.”
“You can only sale yourselves to the jihadi terrorists but can’t live a descent respectful life.”
As compared to Facebook, her verified twitter handle receives even more comments, and, accordingly, the number of comments of an inappropriate or trolling nature increases. Shehla’s pinned tweet is related to a petition. On this tweet there are various comments of the following nature:
Paisa kha gayi hai Yaha India mein kuch
zalil, besharam, nich, 2numbari type ke log
Asifa ke naam par 49lakh Chanda le liye.
Aur asifa ke maa baap ko kuch BHI Nahi Diya.
Kaha ghusa liye paise
Kisne kha liye
Kuch to bol Afzal ki pyari dulari
Shehla pata kr kaun hai wo
— ?️mahadev ?️ ke ?️bhakt?️ (@bagaria_sanjay) April 18, 2018
Coming to her Wikipedia page; it was vandalised. Although not directly conveyed to the person in question and not as harsh as direct comments on Twitter and Facebook, the changes are made aiming to portray Shehla Rashid in a certain way, and clear trends emerge.
Take for example this vandalism: “Shehla Rashid Shora is an M.Phil student attending the Jinnah Institute of Islam and vice-president of the students union (JII) from 2015-16.” Jinnah Institute of Islam replaced JNU, her alma mater. At another time someone changed her party affiliations to Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front and Lashkar-e-Taiba.
Someone else tried to ensure that this line stayed on the page: “Rashid received widespread condemnation for his controversial view on Prophet Mohammaed; She termed Mohammed as a feminists and called Sunnah feminism. Sunaah is considerd very oppressive for Women by women right activist from across the globe.”
Other vandalism includes deleting entire paragraphs, blanking the page and trying to add a home address. On Wikipedia, vandalism is corrected fast and currently her page is semi-protected from being edited by unregistered users.
There have been more in-depth studies done related to this which have tried to gauge how much online abuse is faced by other prominent women in India who are outspoken. In 2017, Hindustan Times had found that some prominent women had been mentioned in over 2500 abusive tweets each in a single week. In other reports, Shehla Rashid has stated that she flags five to six tweets every day for their abusive content.
So yes, Shehla Rashid does face online abuse as well as trolling. Does she face a “lot” of abuse? That is a matter of perception, but I think even 1% is 1% too much.