Trolling on Indian Social Media

Trolling on Indian Social Media

what is Trolling?
Trolling on Indian social media is nothing new.  It’s as old as the social media itself. Wherever social media came into existence, trolling too followed. In fact, before becoming associated with social media, it always existed in the world, at the social level. On the internet, a troll is a person who posts inflammatory, provocative, and digressive content in the online comment to get response from other internet users. The purpose of trolling is to spread division and hatred among people.

Trolling is also done at a personal level. So, for example when recently Mandira Bedi, the famous television actor and celebrity tweeted about her husband’s funeral wearing casuals, she was heavily trolled. As a matter of fact, trolling, especially on social media, has become a commercial venture. Such people are hired by politicians, celebrities, and religious leaders to suppress the sane voices in society.

Those who indulge in trolling have also developed their own algorithm to plan and execute things such as – how much trolling will be done?, how to troll? and what will happen? Now, these things are very complicated that ordinary people like us will never understand.

Who is trolled?

Usually victims of trolling are filmstars, sportsmen, politicians, or social activists. But it’s not just limited to celebrities because even common people like you and me can be trolled. I can tell you through my own experience. Last year, a friend of mine made a rather harmless comment on Twitter about the lack of infrastructure to handle a pandemic like Covid 19. I had no idea how a single tweet could create such a furore among people.

They made personal attacks on my friend using foul and inappropriate language that was packed with curse words and invectives. Initially, my friend tried to soothe their temper by engaging them in the discussion. He thought he would succeed in telling them about his viewpoint. But he underestimated the trollers, and in the end, my friend had to delete that particular tweet. Surprisingly, the trolling still continued.

Who is behind trolling?

It’s not only ordinary people who indulge in trolling or hired by other people to do it on their behalf. You will often find celebrities like filmmakers, playback singers, well known actors using a variety of vulgar language. Although there could be any reason for trolling, generally people are trolled for their statements, or the way they dress, or the comment they have made. When it comes to celebrities like film stars, and models,  people have a lot of curiosity about their clothes. They don’t realise that it’s up to individuals to dress the way they like, and others have no business to criticise that.

You can see comments such as “is it boy’s clothes or girl’s? There are positive comments too as many admire celebrities for their choice of clothing, or taste in jewelry. But trolls often abuse and use very offensive language. They even question celebrities’ sexual orientation, and preach on the code of dressing up. Some trolls go to the extent of calling them anti national and suggest police action.

Sometimes trolling also happens by mistake. We often hear of cases when someone is trolled because of his or her similarity to some celebrity. I know of a person who was trolled because he looked similar to Rituparno Ghosh, the famous Bengali Film director. Trolls failed to understand the basic fact that the guy isn’t the famous personality they are targeting. But who cares? In the world of trolling, emotions control the behaviour, and not the insight and intellect.

Trolling is Mental Sickness

Trolling is actually a sign of illness on the part of those who are doing it. You will hardly see a normal person indulging in such activities. Moreover, there is also a huge social inequality behind it.  It’s usually seen that a person who has been suffering from some kind of inferiority complex for a long time chooses to commit trolling. They do it because of the ‘inferiority complex’ that lies inside them. It’s also a type of sadistic behaviour.

Those who indulge in trolling on social media get a vicarious pleasure. They have a sense of satisfaction by hurting others emotionally. However, psychologists can explain it much better as to why some people resort to such obnoxious behaviour. However, one thing is certain that either trolls do it just for the sake of fun or have some deep rooted antipathy to someone. For them, there is a ‘deeper social reasoning’ behind them.

Trolling has become so rampant on social media that anyone who is a frequent user of social media channels like Twitter would fall victim to this. My advice to such people will be to use the power of silence. Just ignore them, and don’t react. And say only when you feel it’s important to make a statement, otherwise avoid the topic altogether.