Whether celebrities, politicians or regular citizens, online trolls target everyone equally. Under the Indian Constitution, here’s how you can take action.
Remember the episode of the chat show Koffee with Karan, where Alia Bhatt said that Prithviraj Chauhan was the President of India?
Her answer flooded social media with countless memes and jokes. No matter how funny it was for the nation, Alia surely had a hard time.
Most people consider the internet as a platform which provides them anonymity and use it to victimise others. It’s extremely easy to hide your identity on the internet and express your feelings without the fear of being caught. Whether celebrities, politicians or regular citizens, online trolls target everyone equally.
The Internet is not short of people who instead of winning arguments based on reason, resort to abuse, threats, insults and bullying, to prove their point. You must have come across such people everywhere, especially while browsing through social media.
Who are Internet Trolls?
Trolls are individuals who post abusive and controversial remarks or comments on social media platforms to bother other people, with the sole malicious intention to hurt the sentiments and feelings of others and provoke an angry reaction. Their messages are such that they can shift everyone’s attention from the subject matter.
Who doesn’t know about journalist Barkha Dutt? She is one of the most trolled Indian women on the internet and is constantly abused and harassed for her comments on social media platforms. In December 2015, she was trolled online after she had mentioned in her book that she was a victim of child sexual abuse
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Sona Mohapatra, a well-known singer was also trolled online for criticising Bollywood actor Salman Khan’s comments on “feeling like a raped woman” during the shooting of his film, Sultan.
Is trolling punishable?
Trolls did not even spare Anushka Sharma, Bollywood actress for being accountable for Virat Kohli’s bad performance on the cricket field.
We do not have a specific law that directly addresses this growing concern, but we do have a few sections in different laws such as Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Information Technology (Amendment) Act (IT Act) which make trolling a criminal act.
Trolling is the new generation cybercrime and trolls are the new generation of criminals on the internet who derive sadistic pleasure in spreading abuse and hate.