Chetan Bhagat's one night on Twitter

Published: Dec 08, 2009, 07:36 IST | Ketan Ranga

Author's threat to block tweeple, after his tweet on piracy leads to argument, backfires

Author's threat to block tweeple, after his tweet on piracy leads to argument, backfires

Author Chetan Bhagat rubbed his followers on Twitter the wrong way last evening, after his tweet lamenting piracy of his books led to an argument with two other tweeters, whom he later threatened to block.

A few hours after the argument, one Nikhil Narayanan started the #chetanblocks hashtag group, which received an overwhelming response.

People started tweeting from 6 pm and this went on till the wee hours of the morning, making it the trendiest topic for the day.

Most tweeters were anti-Bhagat with some ridiculing his comments to block followers, but the author did find support in a few.

Words are all I Have: Chetan Bhagat


How it started...

@Chetan_Bhagat posted a tweet at 4 pm saying, 'Almost anyone who is reading my pirated books can afford the original. It hurts me a lot personally. Just sharing."

He added, "Piracy kills publishers, esp domestic literature. Gives incentive writers to move westwards. Don't do it if you care for Indian creativity.

At a broader level, a society that doesn't respect intellectual property never excels at innovation. See what kind of India u want".

To this a tweeter @flyyoufools commented: "Tying everything to India's progress today, aren't we?"
And the debate took an ugly turn. Bhagat tweeted, "Well it is tied to progress. Close ur eyes to it if u want to."
Flyyoufools tweeted back, "In a bad mood today, aren't we? Let me guess: Royalty check came in?

This enraged Bhagat who wrote, 'buddy, one more smart one and u r blocked. ok?

This didn't to go down well with other tweeters. Tweeter Jojo Philip popped in with 'Don't blame the consumer. If he/she gets the product at a fifth of its cost, they have every right to pick it up'.

Now, Bhagat was on the edge and he said, 'If i can access your bank account, i have the right to steal from it?

Pat came the reply from Jojiphilip, 'Piracy happens only when there is huge gap between d market cost & buying it otherwise. Greedy publishers plz note

There is a nexus between cops, illegal printers & publishers who r responsible for piracy. Attack d system, not the consumer."

Block no 2

And the argument continued with Bhagat tweeting, 'nobody is greedy. if u cant afford it, dont buy it. do u steal cars if u cant afford them?

Jojiphilip was in no mood to accept defeat. He wrote, 'No, i don't steal cars, but if someone was offering me one for Rs 1000, i wud buy it.

Blame the guy who is offering me this. as a consumer i have done no wrong. I have paid the guy on the street corner my hard earned Rs 100 & i did not steal it from him.'

Bhagat seemed to be losing his cool. And gave one more threat to block the prompt tweeter. The author posted, 'U have. ask a lawyer. And one more defense of illegal stuff and will block u. ok?

Following this, the portal was flooded with thousands of others with the author finding no support. The debate was still raging when the paper went to press.

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