Last Sunday was a busy one. On Twitter, at least. The sudden surge in activity on an otherwise lazy Twitter day, was all about the anatomy of Internet trolls – an article by novelist Chetan Bhagat. A few weeks before this, a senior celebrity journalist, a favourite of Internet Trolls, had also written an article on the same subject. In the last few months, or should we say since the advent of a brand called NaMo, the discussion on trolls has moved from private conversations to mainstream media. And of course, on social media, it's omnipresent.
It kept me wondering, why are we fighting for such an inane issue when India has much bigger challenges? A little research gave me some insight into the minds of trolls and those who claim to be trolled.
First, who is a troll? I asked this on Twitter and received hundreds of replies. Here are a few, in no particular order:
- A user with fewer followers, who persists on giving unsolicited, contrarian views to a user with more followers.
- Has come to mean a cheap abuse in India. Genuine Internet trolls however are very knowledgeable and cool people.
- Any speech from anyone I dislike.
- TROLL = watchdog.
- Showing a mirror and embarrassing them with facts and figures is trolling.
- Anyone who talks sense that is nonsense to others is a troll
- Everybody is somebody else's troll.
- For a left liberal, whoever calls his/her bluff is a troll
- A Hindu who questions the facts? A Hindu who doesn't let them spin facts? A Hindu who is equipped with facts and exposes their hypocrisy.
- If you disagree with me, or lose a debate, you are trolling.
- Begaani shaadi mein abdullah deewana :)