OPINION
SAFFRON STRIKES
Hindustan Times' Hate Tracker will no more track hate?
- BY PT MEDIA CRITIC
Hindustan Times' Hate Tracker will no more track hate?



New Delhi: India's leading English language daily newspaper, Hindustan Times, which had started a special crowd-sourced national database of hate crimes, is losing its zeal for tracking hate. 

Senior Hindustan Times staffers have been instructed by HT's Chief Content Officer (yes, they have such a post), Rajesh Mahapatra, that hate tracker tweets or hate tracker-related tweets are not to be retweeted any more.
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Hate Tracker clearly was not to the liking of the BJP, the RSS and several saffron-tinged tentacles of the Sangh Parivar even though it was an equal opportunity offender when it comes to religious affiliations of those indulging in bigotry-related crimes. 
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Mahapatra is the second-in-command with the HT's editorial heirarchy who has a say on what goes and what does not into the media group's content.

‘Hate Tracker’ was a platform put in place by Bobby Ghosh, the Hindustan Times' recently relieved editor whose exit was announced by proprietor Shobhana Bhartia herself. A lot of speculation remains around the circumstances in which Ghosh left the job less than a year and a half in the hotseat.

For the moment, the instructions say the command will remain valid "until further notice.” The shift in HT's stance towards Hate Tracker comes within less than two months of its launch.

Now, media critiquing websites are agog with talk about Ghosh's exit coming within days of a meeting between the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, and Bhartia. The meeting was ostensibly to extend an invitation to the prime minister to attend the HT Leadership Summit, a power show event the newspaper holds every year.
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The shift in HT's stance towards Hate Tracker comes within less than two months of its launch under the tutelage of its outgoing editor Bobby Ghosh.
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Hate Tracker clearly was not to the liking of the BJP, the RSS and several saffron-tinged tentacles of the Sangh Parivar even though it was an equal opportunity offender when it comes to religious affiliations of those indulging in bigotry-related crimes. 

Sources said top HT staffers have been told not to promote Hate Tracker anymore through mentions in their Facebook posts or tweets. 

For all practical purposes, the Hate Tracker will soon be allowed to fade out, even though there is little let up in hate crimes in India. The social media teams of the group will gradually step back from referencing Hate Tracker stuff on any platform.
 
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