Internet Trolls: Are they sadists or reformists?
Trolls. Cute (yet ugly) and laughable. They give life to our tales, ballads and legends.
Social media trolls? Not so much. They wreak havoc.
All a troll wants is to inflict pain, ridicule and humiliate a targeted person. Left alone, these little social media misfits will tarnish your name and reputation.
Internet trolling or the practice of disrupting internet discussions with off-colour or provocative comments, has been a main stay of the internet since the service became available to the general public in the late 1980’s. While some trolls claim their games are purely innocuous, acts of trolling have been implicated in suicides. They rant, post death threats, spew hate speeches, character assassinates people.
They’re foes- not friends- of you. Clearly. Companies and brands are starting to quit social media. This quitting takes many forms. Many are reducing or ending their presence on sites such as Facebook and placing new emphasis on other social sites.
Trolls can quickly become cyberbullying- the line between both of them are paper thin. Studies have shown that women in entertainment and media bear the brunt of such Cyber abuse.
Ghostbuster’s star Leslie Jones took a very public hiatus from Twitter after trolls drowned her account in an onslaught of racists and sexually explicit posts. Trolls do everything foe the lulz- the joy of laughing at another people’s expense.
A psychology study of self-defined trolls found that people whom deemed themselves trolls scored high levels of ‘sadism’ and ‘psychopathy’ on a personality test. Another study found that if a person is in a bad mood, they’re likely to troll. People, nowadays, become hyper-active and intolerant, gets irked easily. Moreover, where trolling beings, facts end.
A readers perception and comprehension of a text are easily swayed by the comments of its comment section. As one study noted- “uncivil comments not only polarised readers but often changed a participant’s interpretation of the news story itself.” It gives incredible leverage in shaping opinions across the internet.
However, with the elapsing of times, the usage and its impact on the people have become multifarious. The trolls and its significance have had melancholic change in the current times.
Are trolls social artists who disrupt the tapestry of the environment to unveil the grim realities about society and human nature, or are they merely schadenfreude- obsessed bullies?
Trolls, nowadays, make us take discerning stance about media. More than making fun of individuals, trolls mock media-driven culture at large, often times exposing glaring inefficiencies. Trolls reveal media’s propensity for sensationalism by getting mainstream news outlets to put up fake stories.
For instance, the controversy surrounding Russia’s role in using trolls to spread fake news to interfere with the 2016 presidential elections have forced users to question what they read. Media houses in India are at peak of spreading fake propagandas against one political party for the other. Trolls, thus, warn us to be more cautious consumers of information.
Alongside, trolling is an extremely valid way to express dissent. If you’ve got a bone to pick, why not pick it on the internet? Thousands to unaffected Americans went to Amazon.com to express their discontent with the current President Donald Trump via.
Mock product reviews for his Make America Great Again Christmas event. The light-hearted trolling helped disappointed citizens blow off steam in a positive way.
In a wake of the hour, people have been vociferously vocal about their stance against the controversial Citizenship Amendment Bill in India and left stone unturned in expressing their views against the government through the use of memes and trolls.
Trolls, give people the voice they crave for at times when the right to speech has been scrapped in the country.
Trolling can highlight the inadequacies in the societal, political, economic sectors of a country, but because trolling thrives on social media, there is likely to be no such people as victimless.
Hence, it’s advisable to learn how to distinguish between the healthy trolls and the ones destructive.
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