Over the last few months, as she began managing her own Twitter profile, actor Kangana Ranaut has emerged a controversial figure online. Her frequent tweets, on a multitude of current issues, appear to invoke adulation and anger at every turn, and her posts have also been removed by Twitter for violating its rules.
The latest outrage stems from Ranaut's strongly worded remarks against international pop star and businesswoman Rihanna, and her claim that those protesting at Delhi's borders were "terrorists".
"No one is talking about it because they are not farmers they are terrorists who are trying to divide India, so that China can take over our vulnerable broken nation and make it a Chinese colony much like USA... Sit down you fool, we are not selling our nation like you dummies," she had responded to Rihanna's post.
This is not the only post that has fueled controversy. In a post that has since been removed by Twitter for violating the company's rules, Ranaut had said that she was "elated" by the situation. This came amid the uproar caused by Greta Thunberg's now deleted 'protest toolkit' tweet.
"I don't remember being so happy/excited ever, the cancer in the body of this nation we were looking for has been located, identified and now the process of eradication will start, together we will see through this. Not just survive but also thrive. Jai Hind," she had written.
Needless to say, many have been outraged by the remarks. And while some on Twitter are cheering Kangana on, others have decided to ask Twitter to ban her account altogether. There is now a change.org petition that calls on the microblogging site to ban her account. The lengthy explanation for the same cites recent remarks made by Ranaut and contends that the world will be a "much safer and a much peaceful place" without her access to Twitter.
"Twitter is a platform where voices are heard, but when the voices become the screams for hatred, violence, and inhumanity..... then such voices must be silenced for the sake of humanity," the petition explains.
Now, this is not the first time that someone has created such a petition. But this is perhaps the first time that it has received such an overwhelming response. Over the last day, more than one lakh people appear to have signed the petition. As of 2:10 pm on February 6th, more than 129,000 people have signed.
What is Change.org? Do such petitions garner results?
Change.org is a an online petition website operated by a for-profit organisation of the same name. According to the company's website, anyone can start a petition and take efforts to mobilise support. While such a petition, irrespective of the number of signatories, is not binding in any way, it can be used to gauge the mood of people. As such, petitions with millions of signatories have been used by people in various countries to back up their case and achieve their goal.
In UK for example, Captain Tom Moore was knighted soon after a million people signed a petition to seek the same.