The author elaborates on thenature of the cyber world andits many pitfalls#Trolls, #Trolling are the most popular hashtags incyberspace today. Let’s understand what Trolling is, whothese trolls are, and what it does to the one trolled.“Trolling is an act to make a deliberately offensive orprovocative online post/tweet with the aim of upsettingsomeone or creating unrest in an online group...
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The author elaborates on the
nature of the cyber world and
its many pitfalls
#Trolls, #Trolling are the most popular hashtags in
cyberspace today. Let’s understand what Trolling is, who
these trolls are, and what it does to the one trolled.
“Trolling is an act to make a deliberately offensive or
provocative online post/tweet with the aim of upsetting
someone or creating unrest in an online group or community
by posting off topic messages.”
Users/individuals who love to add fuel to fire or rather
fire the fuel are the ones who are likely to become Internet
trolls. Internet/cyberspace gives them the perfect ground to
get away with the menace they create or the harm they do
and also encourages such acts by providing the attention &
audience for these acts.
These traits of trolls have been associated to people who
have narcissist or psychopath & sadist tendencies. It is
your suffering that brings them pleasure. It is the power of
hurting someone that drives them.
“I may not even be a real victim but it did hurt” were the
words of journalist Dhanya Rajendran, who was victim
of an organized trolling attack by fans of Tollywood
Within a few minutes of her above tweet going live,
she was bombarded by vulgar tweets and sexual and
death threats. There have been around 45,000 tweets
over the following three days and a derogatory hashtag
trended on Twitter.
The alleged trolls have also dug out her tweets in the
past that they say targeted Vijay. Yet she feels she may
not be real victim. Why? Just because this happened in
cyber space? Just because it’s virtual crime & not real/
Is making friends his fault? Or is trusting friends his fault?
His laptop getting hacked is his fault? He is being bullied &
threatened and yet he feels he is not a victim of cybercrime
as it’s all in virtual space.
A 26-year-old employee reaches out for help from
cyber psychologist to help him fight cyber bullies. Our
young man makes friends on social media and uses
the latest mediums of technology for communication
– chats & video calls. Typical of human nature he is
trusting & cannot sense any foul play. One evening after
a video call with his new found friend, he says adieu
to her as it’s time for him to hit the bed. Next morning
he receives a YouTube link from his friend on private
chat. When he clicks the link he is shocked to see his
own video from last night when he was changing into
comfort wear for bed time. What follows next is a note
threatening him to pay up ransom else the video link
will be shared with all his social media contacts.
“It’s my entire fault. I feel more stupid rather than
a real victim. I don’t think I have any control now. I
am feeling so suicidal. I can’t share this with anyone.
Please help me”, he shares with me in a telephonic
Cyberbullying is the fastest-growing form of cybercrime
in Internet space. Teenagers and adults are going through
life being cyber-bullied and may or may not be aware of
this. Most who are aware of what is happening to them feel
depressed, miserable, have low self-esteem and a sense of
12-year-old Tanya (name changed) is going for
counselling sessions for the last 2 months to
build up her self-confidence & work on the fear
of attending school. Tanya is another child who is
a victim of cyber bullying. One nasty comment by
anonymous user on her picture with braces on social
media attracted many more unpleasant comments
making fun of her physical appearance, intelligence,
etiquettes etc., murdering her self-confidence with
every like received on such comments. Her parents
reported that she started staying indoors, became
very irritable & sensitive. She would either cry or
yell at a drop of a hat and she was just not ready
to go to school. Her parents were unaware of the
actual trigger but knew something is bothering her
& hence sought professional help.
Cyber-bullies are highly intimidating. They thrive on having
an audience. Display of power, vengeance and thrill are
some of the reasons why people bully.
India as a country stands 4th in cyberbullying. Also, what
is noteworthy is that if one in 10 children has been bullied
online, about 50 percent of children are also the cyberbullies.
Knowingly or unknowingly, people contribute to
bullying in virtual space. Somewhere it’s the feeling of
superiority or simply having fun by demeaning someone
that leads to such bullying.
As much is the impact of physical harassment, even more
is that of the virtual harassment, intent being more or less
the same. Given the magnitude of the Internet/cyberspace,
the criminal acts are more dreadful & intense. The 3A’s of
cyberspace - Anonymity, Authority and Attention - make it
very alluring for psychologically sick-minded people to vent
or act out their intents. In fact, it also gives a platform to
normal people to unleash their dark side & seek pleasure
in dark fun.
Cybercrimes like trolling, cyberbullying, hacking are
amongst the more common ones.
The list of types of cybercrimes is increasing at a rapid
speed along with advancement of technology & its role
in our day-to-day lives. Our social lives have spilled over
into the virtual space & rather the virtual is taking over the
physical or real social scenario.
Let us understand that the damage such crimes
can do is humungous and very deep due to the nature
of cyberspace. Physical wounds heal faster than mental
ones. Firstly, it takes a while for the victim to even realize
that he or she is a victim, and thereafter, what to do is not
of cyber bullying
& trolling is deep,
irreversible and sadly
invisible too. Be
responsible with your
words & actions
Stay aware & stay safe is the mantra. Some useful tips to
keep you alert & aware while in cyberspace:
is what we believe. So remember it’s all about how we
feel & what we think.
emotional distress. Emotional distress clouds the logical
mind and we operate out of impulse & overwhelming
feelings (be it of hurt, anger, loneliness etc.)
share details as there is no fear of being judged. But it
impacts your ability to make good judgments of other
check) before trusting anyone you met in cyber space.
your family needs to know where you are.
haven of child abusers and pedophiles.
takes 5-10 minutes to go through them. Invest that time
for your own safety.
connected to real friends.
Lastly, like any physical hurt, mental hurt also needs
attention & professional advise. Do not hesitate to seek
Disclaimer – The views expressed in this article are the personal views of the author and are purely informative in nature.