Gorom Moshla 

Trolling: The Status Quo in the Online World

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Cyberpunk writer William Gibson defines cyberspace as “a consensual hallucination experienced daily by millions of legitimate operators.” With this ‘hallucinating’ effect of the social media, it has become too easy to spread messages online without a grain of truth in it. Lewd comments, personal messages, undignified trolls and even death threats on social networking sites are some of the most harrowing effects which disclose the unacceptable misemployment of the Internet and technology.

Cybercrime includes several types of online harassment like Email Spoofing, Intimate Partner Violence, Culturally Justified Violence, Bucket Brigade Attack, Botnet, Tailgating, and ARP Cache Poisoning. The most used method to execute these crimes is what the psychologists refer to as Deindividuation’, a process where social norms are withdrawn because of concealed identities.

Trolling is not a string of isolated incidents but the status quo in the online world. Trolls can be compared to graffiti artists, as they want people who are familiar with the online language to identify them. They strive to achieve a point of recognition for their online identity. And anonymity assists them to remain essentially risk-free.

Anonymous destructive threats by a few moral police almost always get in the way of a constructive debate. An idea of dissent now is seen as an attack on institutionalized ideology followed by clueless mobs. They are constantly creating ruckus due to their misfortune of ignorance in general and also on the utility of social networking sites. In early years, the online behaviour which was popular as flaming is now aspiring violence through trolls, which is the attack of the lowest denominator.

In this fast pacing world, the previously prevailing ways are slowly dissipating and new ways of existence are unveiling themselves. Globally there are 3.010 billion Internet users. Out of them, 2.078 billion are active users of the social media. The social media is playing a crucial role in reshaping and restyling our views and opinions. It is determining the development of our intellectual abilities, modes of behaviour and personalities. But what it also does is, it affects our lives by creating insurmountable menace due to its misuse in the name of ‘access to all’ policy.

Some of us are familiar with the piteous incident of Alia Bhatt in a popular talk show where she named Prithviraj Chauhan as India’s President. And what followed her statement? She was ridiculed and victimized ignominiously all over the media. Social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter were flooded with comparable virtual rage and even fantasized violence for Bhatt’s lack of ‘intelligence’.

The eminent question in the context above is not that if she deserved to be spurned and humiliated for being uninformed, but the exceeding amount of fashionable political incorrectness that emphasized antagonism, vicious bullying, and robust criticism. Given the modern sensibility, aren’t these crimes truly evocative of the intensified unruly behaviour succeeding in our society? I presume they are.

The biggest question is, what should be done to shut down this excessive disrupt of outrage created by a number of people? These issues must be stressed by the domestic laws of the country where the victim resides or is domiciled. As per my opinion, a complete pragmatic change in the ways of thinking and decision making is all that is needed; slowly but steadily.

The fact is, if we haven’t faced any of such violence, we cannot sympathize with the victim’s torment rather only believe in it. We Indians have given ourselves the constitution but are barely able to keep it. We inherited a transcendent heritage but are not wise enough to admire and preserve it.

“What a perfect meme for our intellectually and politically divided times”, exclaimed my friend after I made him listen to the computer-generated voice, which has become perhaps the most conflicting subject on the web after the gold/blue dress of 2015. It’s one word, but the source of furious disagreement is which one, ‘Laurel’ or ‘Yanny’? If you ask me, I heard Laurel, him Yanny, an optical illusion for our ears we realized.

Stuck into our own perceptions, we literally see and hear things differently nowadays. Unfortunately, interpretation of Trolls is no exception!

Image Source: Sayantan Mondal


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