Trolling is actually an act of making deliberately offensive, false or rude remarks intended to annoy someone or cause an emotional response from other users for their own personal satisfaction. For example, name-calling, profanity, racism, harassment, etc. the people who do such trolling on the internet are called 'trolls'. They hide behind their computer screens, and actively go out of their way to cause trouble on the internet. But how these trolls look like? They are actually ordinary individuals like you and me. A recent survey found that four out of every ten people have been harassed online. But what if all trolls aren't born trolls? There are two factors which seems to influence the trolls. First being a person's mood. Their goal becomes just to frustrate other people and to satisfy themselves. And second being the tone of other comments. The fact is, a person's environment causes trolling more than any inherited trait. Every online troll has a completely diverse backstory and hence various reasons to troll an individual or a community on the internet. They may feel annoyed, distressed, unfortunate, hopeless, boredom, need for attention, narcissistic or some other bad emotion. Trolls can be found around almost every corner of the social web. Some specific places where the trolls get attracted are
• YouTube is known to have some of the most disgusting comments of all time
• E-mail: there exist loads of trolls who take their time and energy to write up some gross and unacceptable email messages in response to the people they don't agree with or were offended by.
• Blog comments: such blogs which cover controversial or arguable topics, can definitely have trolls talking dirty, swearing and simply just causing trouble.
• Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, Instagram, Tumblr, or any other social networking site: people go insane these days while writing stuffs about others on such sites. There is a difference between politely questioning or disagreeing with someone's statement in an attempt to engage, converse, learn & acting a troll. Trollers intentionally provoke arguments or conflicts on such sites by posting in inflammatory messages. The internet provides people the opportunity to remain anonymous. This is what makes trolling so easy, that seriously anybody can do it. It usually takes place in any secured and hidden place so that they can easily escape without facing any consequences.
IT'S OKAY TO DISLIKE SOMEONE, OR EVEN DISLIKE SOMEONE FOR NO REASON. BUT IT'S NOT OKAY TO DISRESPECT, DEGRADE AND HUMILIATE THAT PERSON.
'Online trolling gives platform to a lot of coward feel powerful. MTV channel launched a reality show 'Troll Police' that discusses the problems of cyber bullying and makes the trolls answerable and responsible for their nasty online behavior. The main motive is to trace the trolls of some of the biggest celebrities of Bollywood and the actual faces behind it. The show comprises of expert investigators and a cyber-team which helps to solve the issues. It's a great initiative to spread awareness and educate the youth that though we enjoy our rights to freedom of speech but using indecent language can have bitter consequences. But how should the people deal with their trolls? If a troll tries to instigate you, just avoid them. They are not worth your time, energy or emotional distress. It will be better if you won't take it personally and will advise yourself that their hurtful action don't change or transform who you are. A person who looks like a troll is actually the one who is trying to make himself feel better by taking his anger out on you or is suffering in some way. Celebrities also do face such trolls in their daily life. Few celebrities take such matters into their own hands. They flawlessly shut down such haters, and inspire us to live a happy life, and to be mentally strong enough. Internet trolling is now considered illegal in few parts of the world. Due to the growing numbers of victims being trolled and therefore committing suicide, strong and necessary actions have been taken against the trollers.
Any comment that seems unimportant or irrelevant to one person might cause heavy pain to another. Eventually the challenge is to find where to draw the line in terms of when law should get involved. Clearly, the government have taken a far more aggressive approach in the recent years to tackle the online trolling. What is the law to punish trolls in India? In India, two different sections can be found in two different laws which can be applied on trolls, making the internet trolling a criminal act provided if few important elements mentioned in the sections are there in the comments posted by the trolls. Section 66A of The Information Technology act, 2000 i.e. Punishment for sending offensive messages through communication service, etc.
A person who sends the following by the medium of a computer resource or a communicable device
(a) any message that is massively abusive or has frightening character, or
(b) any message that he knows to be wrong, but for the aim of causing envy, disturbance, endangerment, misery, agony or ill will, intently by using such communication devices, or
(c) any e-mail message for the aim of resulting in inconvenience or to mislead the addressee or recipient about the origin of such messages, shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years and fine. It is a cognizable offence but bailable offence.
But if the troll has not posted any offensive message or the police feels so that it is not offensive, then section 66A would not be applied. If any man (while trolling also) makes a 'sexually colored remark' would be considered guilty of sexual harassment. If trolling amounts to causing suicide of the person who is been victimized or affected, then the trolls will be charged, if any person commits suicide, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine. It is both cognizable and bailable offence. Online trolling has few leading cases. In 2017, actor Kavya Madhavan filed a police complaint against people who trolled her on internet. The trolls were the people who humiliated her through online memes and trolled on her marriage with the actor Dileep. The actor asserted that, several people on her official Facebook page 'Lakshyah' (which deals with her designer outfits venture), posted some extremely offensive and malicious comments. It was held as a case of defamation. Shreya Singhal v Union of India is a landmark judgement, with respect to Section 66A of the IT Act,2000, where the Supreme Court held that the law of India on abusive communications was unconstitutional as it was bound to be exercise in a certain way that would unessentially prevent freedom of speech and expression.
At last, I would just like to tell y'all that no troll is safe today. Beware.