Troll time for Celebrity tweets
You’ve heard of the age-old adage, ‘pen is mightier than the sword’. And, there are no two ways about it. Fast forward to the 21st century and the rule applies just as much except, the tap is a lot more potent. Every tweet and move strikes twice as hard, and every action can boomerang with trolls and vicious responses that stir up a storm, without much fodder! The recently released Manmarziyaan found itself in the eye of the storm owing to how a certain section of the Sikh Community were miffed with a scene where junior Bachchan is spotted smoking. The issue was escalated to the extent that the director, Anurag Kashyap, had to issue a public apology to settle the issue. Not too long ago, city artiste Danish Sait’s offering Humble Politican Nograj too amassed a lot of discomfort among those from the LGBT community, who were irked by the portrayal of a few gay characters, which eventually led to a controversy on social media...
Not too long ago, Michelin star chef Atul Kochhar, was on the receiving end of major flak after taking a light-hearted tongue n cheek dig at Bollywood star Priyanka Chopra for her tweet over an episode in the hugely popular American television show Quantico which portrayed Hindu nationalists as terrorists. The comment stirred up an online storm of sorts, with a happy ending coming only after Kochhar deleted the tweet and apologised for the “major error” that was made in the heat of the moment on Sunday, as per a popular Middle Eastern Report.
While the scenarios might vary, the repercussion seem eerily similar. Why are people up in arms online? What makes getting offended the new cool? We ask city folk about ways they feel this could be combated.
So, what causes the stir? City-based clinical psychologist Dr Karan M Pai cites the whole response to underlying frustration. “Social media is one place, where we often feel entitled towards a false sense of ownership and demand apology for the things we don’t deserve. How many verified accounts do we have in comparison to the unverified ones? This is also a form of defence mechanism, where people often cover us for self-esteem issues by crying out and being up in arms for issues that don’t affect them on a deeper level. Moderation is key. Public figures need to be careful and moderate their comments, while the rest of us need to use the platform in moderation.”
Entrepreneur Shekhar Vijayan believes it is important to spread awareness among users in general. He opines, “If you notice, most people who seem to take offense or partake in an online feud have very partial and half baked information to back it with. Next time you see someone on your list taking offense for absolutely nothing that’s actually got to do with him, ask him where the angst is sprouting from? It is important for people to get an incisive understanding of a particular subject, failing to which, trolls and taking offense follows.”
Author Banani Dhar feels the only way forward is personal introspection. “What we’re lacking is not the lack of knowledge but personal scrutiny in terms of what comment needs to be trashed and what doesn’t. Just because a comment might seem offensivedoesn’t mean it should leave a public figure in the hands of the naysayers or those offended. I really believe the only people need to accept opinions or ignore it as everyone has their own right to opine. You get to sieve constructive criticism from destructive ones. The freedom that a tap on your smartphone offers shouldn’t be the sole determining factor to decide what deserves an apology and what doesn’t.”