Witerati | Trolling is doing on Twitter what chappal does at public platforms | punjab | Hindustan Times
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Witerati | Trolling is doing on Twitter what chappal does at public platforms

What slipper missiles are to netas or rotten eggs ‘n’ tomatoes were to yesteryear abhinetas, trolls are to Tweeple

punjab Updated: Aug 06, 2017 16:17 IST
Chetna Keer
Illustration: Rahul Krishnan
Illustration: Rahul Krishnan

When Sunny Leone recently adopted a Latur quake orphan, little did the ‘Baby Doll’ know that her heroic gesture would land her at the receiving end of that ugly underside of the social media: the troll.

What was her personal choice, and a noble one, was trashed in the worst spewing of internet hate the social media is seeing of late. So vicious did the trolling get that her porn star past cast a shadow on her present motherhood.

Just before Sunny gave to trolling its new kid on the block, trolls were tearing apart actor Sonakshi Sinha’s blonde hairdo at the IIFA awards. Sonakshi may have hoped to be a head-turner, instead she stumbled headlong into a troll storm, spawning many a ‘Ramesh-Suresh’ joke and having her sari called an “unfinished canvas of a painting made by a squirrel running on coke”!

Around the time this refashioned head became an object of troll taunts, Priyanka Chopra’s lips landed at the receiving end, post her pouty selfie. Trolls saw something ‘fishy’ in her pout. Being social media’s ugly underbelly that thrives on body shaming, trolls pay no lip service to politeness.

Priyanka’s legs had bare-ly survived trolling earlier when she put her best foot forward at the Berlin tete-a-tete with Narendra Modi. Thanks to an upwardly mobile hemline, she got troll-tripped for her ‘un-sanskaari’ footnote.

Body shame or name, trolls are always game. ‘What’s in a name?’ may have been the Shakespearean sentiment. ‘Shame’ was the trolling retort when it came to Saifeena’s newborn’s name. Taimur thus got trolled left right and centre, from trending taunts of a Mongol invasion, “equivalent to Europeans naming children after Hitler”, to jibes telling Maharashtra ministerial top guns “not to screw Mumbai station names” and instead intervene to have Taimur renamed!

If recent studies, stating that one-third netizens suffer cyber hate, are to be believed, trolling is doing on Twitter what the chappal does at public platforms. What slipper missiles are to netas or rotten eggs ‘n’ tomatoes were to yesteryear abhinetas, trolls are to Tweeple. The way the shoe has emerged as the sole-mate of political hate, having had famous skulls — a la George Bush, P Chidambaram, Parkash Singh Badal & Co — at its receiving end, spewing hate also seems the purpose sole of a troll.

Footwear projectiles, as carriers of hate, are pretty precise in reaching their destination, in the shape of a political skull or VVIP torso, but trolls enjoy a wider reach. Politicians possess little protective armour against shoe missiles, thanks partly to balding skulls sporting scant cranial cover. But Twitterati suffering cyber missiles have evolved smart defence mechanisms.

When trolls target famous lips or heads, savvy stars dish out some cheek. After Priyanka’s legs bore the brunt at Berlin, she slayed trolls by posting a ‘cheeky’ pose of double leg show — her tanned legs rubbing shoulders with her mommy’s toned calves. That’s a snub style guaranteed to silence, for it slams shaming of legs or lips by (s)pouting cheek.

Another snub style entails not p(r)ose but poetry to slam trolling overdose. Sample shayari a la Sonakshi : “... trolling nahi aapka pesha hai yeh... kaise lautayun aapka yeh pyaar... kyunki aap to ho gaye hai block ...”

Other celebrities believe in giving an eye for an eye, tweet for a tweet. When Kareena faced blame for post-mommyhood partying or Taimur’s name, Randhir and Rishi Kapoor ticked the trolls short ‘n’ tweet.

Be it a film star, porn star or a non-star, motherhood is something so sacrosanct that trolls would do well to respect the dictum: mum’s the word!

chetnabanerjee@gmail.com