Trolling on the Internet is a sick reality but why be selective when finger-pointing?
Trolling is something that is truly democratic on the Internet because it is as easy as quickly keying in a few nasty words and tapping or clicking the Send button.
People with nasty mindsets can have a field day because they know that the other person is not going to whack them or the judging eyes of the society are not going to pierce them. From wherever they are, they can troll.
Whatever political and ideological differences we may have with Barkha Dutt, only a fool would deny the fact that women are special targets for trolls, as she writes in this HT post titled “Let’s Talk About Trolls | Online abuse a modern-day weapon to silence women”.
I fully agree with her. Women are specially targeted by trolls. They are subjected to sexist abuses at the drop of a hat. As written above, it is easier to be more nasty on the Internet because you are not directly looking at someone’s face. The only visual interaction you are having at that moment is the DP of the person. For example, if you are calling Barkha Dutt (or for that matter anyone else) a .… whatever demeaning nomenclature you want to use … you cannot directly see the expression of hurt or humiliation she may have on her face. You go on seeing the smiling face rested upon the back of a hand.
After that nasty tweet, you immediately move onto whatever catches your fancy. Sometimes you don’t even remember what a filthy message you have just posted.
The problem of trolling manifests across the spectrums. Although the likes of Barkha Dutt constantly point accusing fingers at the so-called Right, or the “bhakts”, trolling emanates from every ideological and political spectrum. I haven’t been compiling abusive trolls (although I’ve been requesting people to do so) I’ve seen equally abusive and nasty social media messages from AAP and Congress supporters targeting Modi supporters.
The problem is, whereas in the so-called Right people are ready to talk about the trolling problem in their midst, the other sides (Left and Left-influenced) are not. For example, I’m writing this (while I totally disagree with her various political, ideological and social stands) to reaffirm her point that yes, trolling is there, and women become special targets.
The difference here is, people on her side will only speak of trolling originating from a particular side and targeting a particular side. In my case, I’m not just acknowledging the existence of trolling I’m also accepting that trolling exists everywhere. Patriarchy, yes, everywhere. Nasty people, yes, everywhere. Does vicious trolling need to be curbed? Yup.
The problem with her is, and I have full sympathy for her for the kind of messages she has been subjected to, she doesn’t speak against trolling coming from the supporters of AAP and Congress. Women supporters of the BJP and Narendra Modi are often subjected to the worst kind of sexist trolling, but Barkha and her friends never come forward and protest. In fact, many, whose filthy language can set your ears (if you hear them) and eyes (if you read them) on fire, are friends with Barkha Dutt. If she really think she’s been a victim of sexist trolling, she shouldn’t associate with similar trolls who agree with her political and ideological stands. This reeks of duplicity.
For a small sample, here are a few examples of the so-called people from the Right being trolled:
And this is a krantikaari AAP supporter:
Another gem from Mika ji. Again, remember, krantikaari AAP supporter.
Now that we are at it, it is misogyny coming from a lady who is not from your favourite villain circle:
Shazia Ilmi, who was previously in AAP, but now in the BJP, was subjected to so vicious at trolling that she had to file an FIR.
Anyway, irrespective of her duplicitous attitude, we should take collective stand against people who exploit various online mediums to abuse women, no matter what the provocation. A few rotten fish spoil the entire pool. No matter from which side they are, trolls should be made to pay.
Trolls are verbal terrorists and just like terrorists, you don’t have extremist trolls and moderate trolls, you just have trolls, and these trolls are everywhere.