With the growing presence of social media in the life of everyone even celebrities the breaking of a news story is always followed by reactions on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. When celebs take to social media to air their sentiments, it can also put them in trouble.
This week, when the Supreme Court banned the sale of firecrackers in the Delhi-NCR region, celebs were quick to take sides. Chetan Bhagat was trolled for opposing the move and Yuvraj Singh supported it. And no sooner than he tweeted, trolls put up an image of the cricketer’s wedding where there were firecrackers. Anushka Sharma was trolled about going vegan, as her followers soon fished out a tweet where the actress is raving about biryani.
While the celebrity could be tweeting with good intentions, the Internet never forgets their every move. Quite like Yuvraj, or Sonam Kapoor, who was trolled with photos of her bursting firecrackers last year, the hypocrisy lies bare for all to see.
Filmmaker Vivek Agnihotri, says, “Twitter is a platform to air your opinions, humour and ideas. It completely depends on the celeb on how to use this platform. If a celeb wants to avoid trolls, he should be careful with his tweets and not be a hypocrite. In some cases, trolling on social media has proven to be good as they are exposing people who are hypocrites.”
VJ Jose Covaco hopes people will give the benefit of doubt to celebs. “It is possible that these celebs who once enjoyed firecrackers display may find it a bad idea today. So, I don’t know if celebs are being hypocrites or their opinions have changed. They should mention about the transition of their thoughts. Simply writing one line is only going to confuse public.”
But could it be possible that these are attention seeking stunts? Life coach and image consultant Chayya Momaya says it’s possible. “Social media helps celebs to find space to grab attention. Today, people are not worried if they are being trolled or getting bad publicity. Some celebs tweet something controversial to grab attention while some buy trolls to create a controversy to get publicity,” she says.
A publicist, on the condition of anonymity, reveals what happens behind the scenes, “Issuing a statement to explain that the intention of the opinion was not to hurt sentiments always helps. We also strongly advice our clients to not retaliate, or indulge in a “Twitter battle”. That dilutes their brand. In some cases, we also advice them to ignore the trolling, as their silence also means that it is their opinion and nobody can contest that.”
Explaining how easy it is to misunderstand even a misplaced emoticon, the publicist adds, “Words, punctuations and emoticons are often misconstrued, as the tone of the dialogue is not apparent on digital platforms.”