Does Trolling People On The Internet Make You A Bully?

Published by Swagatalakshmi on

Although bullying is dreaded all around the world, trolling is taken as ‘fun’. According to the urban dictionary, trolling, ‘as it relates to the internet is the deliberate act, of making random unsolicited and/or controversial comments on various internet forums with the intent to provoke an emotional knee-jerk reaction from unsuspecting readers to engage in a fight or argument’. Thus, yeah, cyber trolling does make you a bully!
 
An example of online trolling is when Rana Ayyub was trolled online, where she got rape and death threats, along with the publishing of her personal information! Thus, any verbal or physical action of a person that can shake the peace or harm the other person, can be considered as bullying. Some facts about the people who pose as online trolls are that they have sadistic personality traits, they have the power to influence the popularity of the brand, organization, or an individual. Also, the fact that they can be anonymous makes them more daring and harsh on the victims.
 
While talking about trolling, another fact that comes up is cyberbullying. Cyberbullying is referred to the act of using the internet with the sole purpose of harassing or bringing down the individual. Thus, we can say that there is a difference between trolling and cyberbullying, that is, trolling is more random and is directed towards a community or an organization, and sometimes an individual, in an intention to grab attention, starts to troll. Cyberbullying is done due to any personal grievance, with an intention of hurting an individual.
 
However, if you are not a troll, or a cyberbully, it is very possible that you have been a victim of either. Many a times, you see a mean comment or a post that is directed towards you, and this happens if you are a social media star or an influencer. Most of the times you choose to ignore those, thinking that there cannot be a possible solution to those. You are right! You cannot get rid of all the trolls and bullies overnight! 
 
Although there is no permanent solution to the problem, you can take action against the perpetrators. But how?
 
If you are wondering whether internet bullying is illegal, the answer is – yes, it is! Under the IT act 2000 and the Indian Penal code, cyber bullying is recognised as an offense, punishable by law. In order to complain about extreme cyberbullying or anybody who is bothering you on the internet, you can dial the government’s helpline number, 112.
 
Now coming to trolling. If you are recognised widely over social media, getting trolled is something you must be familiar with. but , the Indian penal code (1860) doesn’t recognise or define trolling. Then, how to report internet trolling? Well, being a frequent user of social media, you should know that every post, every comment on every social media platform gives an option for reporting. From there you have to report the comment, photo or post, with an explanation of why you are reporting the post, from the given options. Once you do, the platform attempts to analyse the reported subject, and removes the post accordingly. In case the platform doesn’t recognise that particular content or comment as offensive, you can lodge a cyber crime FIR to your nearest police station, suggesting the type of bullying (for example;sexual harassment, hateshaming, body shaming, etc) and legal steps can be taken. You can also ask your friends, supporters and followers to report the offensive section, as the platform takes it seriously, when the number of reports increases.
 
Though the mentioned dark side of the internet is pretty evident nowadays, it is almost impossible to boycott social media, as it cuts you from the immediate communication with the world, and also because it is an entertaining platform afterall. Thus, keep scrolling through memes, share your favourite pictures, and do not hesitate to take actions against the unhealthy trolling and cyberbullying….