In today’s day and age, it would be more appropriate to term internet as the solution to and cause of most of our problems. Thanks to the internet, we have information on our fingertips. Want to know what your friends are doing currently, just follow them on Instagram. Want to follow the diet plan of your favorite celebrity, just Google it. But what we need to realize that with great data speed, comes great responsibility. There are people who do not use internet but abuse it. Social media is the biggest platform for all the anti-social elements across the globe. Taking advantage of the anonymity offered by internet, people harass others in the garb of freedom of speech.
Right and wrong, opinion and judgment, humor and humiliation – in all of this, there is a very thin line and if someone crosses this line, then it is not acceptable. But there are people who cross this line, in the name of sharing opinions and comments. Who are these people? They are the body shamers, victim blamers and angry haters, who are commonly known as ‘Trolls’.
Trolling has become an increasingly frequent phenomenon nowadays. Instances of online abuse are commonplace in the country. Trolls may feel that making a mean comment online is harmless, but what they do not realize is that this act may drive someone into depression, crush someone’s confidence forever or even lead someone to commit suicide.
While freedom of speech is a boon, many end up misusing this freedom. If you are exploiting that freedom to troll others, that is defamation and harassment. It is so easy to hide behind the veil of internet and comment on something which is not related to you. What people don’t realize is that this can have serious repercussions. This can damage one’s career, relationship or life forever. Not only does it affect the one who’s being trolled, but also the people associated with the person. One of the major reasons trolls aren’t scared to troll is because they know that internet gives them anonymity. They feel that they can get away with it and never get caught. Also, there is an assumption that trolling doesn’t have serious implications because they don’t consider it a crime. But nowadays it’s easy to find out one’s username, IP address and report them. One nasty comment can land you behind bars.
In the world of social media, celebrities, musicians, business honchos, no one is off limits. I know a lot of celebrities like Neha Dhupia, Taapsee Pannu and Hard Kaur who have been trolled in the past and have handled it like a boss. What one doesn’t understand is that these celebrities, quite like others, do get affected by trolls. How can one troll a celebrity for putting up a harmless picture in a bikini, putting on weight or putting forth his or her political views? Just because someone is a public figure doesn’t mean they don’t get hurt. Commenting on someone’s picture is fine but commenting to threaten someone, attacking them for their looks, labeling and abusing is not freedom of speech.
Having an opinion or disagreeing with something is perfectly fine. But it’s the way one puts forth his/her views. If you don’t have anything constructive to say, do not say anything at all. People need to stop deriving sadistic pleasure from abusing others online. It is important to realize the thin line between being funny and disrespectful. Don’t take it too far.
Think before you tweet and pause before you post!