There is a kind of unspoken conspiracy that says, leave the trolls alone, they have nuisance value and can be ignored. Just like the Norwegian wood creatures of the same name who were perceived as having supernatural powers and were ugly as sin.
Fine. But the trolls on the internet have no supernatural powers. It is not possible to have any magic potion for those who are cowardly, hide their identity and spew filth and venom and vituperative on to the comments page and do so because it is easy to be crass and coarse and vicious when you are anonymous.
The question then arises; why do we tolerate these people, if you can call them that? Are we afraid they will conduct a campaign against us? They already do that so what is the worst they can do: add more filth to their mountain of sheer muck?
Do you blame Rajdeep Sardesai for walking away from the uneven battlefield? There is nothing to be romanticised in having your mother attacked and attacked so blatantly in public forums. Who are these creeps and how can we advocate hanging in there and fighting the good fight when the trolls are in concealment? It is a hidden enemy, one that has no rules.
Ask yourselves. What would you do if your family members were attacked so viciously. Be sporting about it? What rubbish.
One old hand who has crossed the line and simply ignores this tribe cautioned me by saying that it is a safe outlet for people with severe mental problems. They can use foul words, create perverted imagery and get it out of their systems without actually harming anyone.
Does that make a kind of convoluted sense? Trolls, having no pride of achievement and living, like their Norwegian originals in the dark side of the woods and bathed in self-loathing and low esteem, would be otherwise dangerous if they did not have this internet bylane (pakdandi) where they could exhaust their energies and let off steam. Consequently, by letting the trolls hijack social platforms and fill them with venom what the websites are doing is a social and psychological service. As I have already said, rubbish.
The first time the word troll was used was on “14 December, 1992 in the Usenet group alt.folklore.urban, which was dedicated to discussing and debunking urban legends.”
Expert Don Trylan says, “Trolls live for one purpose: to irritate and enrage as many people as possible, usually through some form of deception. And though they achieved their greatest infamy on the net, trolls have existed in real and mythical form for thousands of years, plaguing everyone from Plato to the Pope.”
Trolling was coined to indicate someone going on a hunt looking for a prey. In the beginning, trolls were actually self-appointed policemen who wanted to right the wrongs they saw around them. They augmented the main media that was afraid to say things because of the vested interests that controlled the media. This phase was short-lived. The troll army became known for interrupting normal conversations and invading privacy. From that phase to becoming hostile was a tiny step.
Wikipedia refers to them with odd sentimentality. In internet slang, a troll is a person who sows discord on the internet by starting arguments or picking up fights.
Mostly, the subject becomes secondary and trolls fight among themselves which deteriorates into a free for all.
Somewhere out there must be a can of pesticide available that one do pffft pfffft and be rid of them.
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Updated Date: May 02, 2016 15:10:25 IST