Trolls from the movie The Hobbit

On Being Trolled and 66A

Everybody who is on the internet has probably heard of this term. Trolls or being trolled is fairly common. In fact there are sites such as 4chan where the sole purpose of the community is to troll on different activities.

Reddit is also one such community, where a lot of users are actively trolling and are being trolled. Being a long time lurker on Reddit, I used to read through multiple posts where fellow redditors would make hilarious comments (often to diffuse a situation). Funny, but at whose expense?

What are Trolls?

If you think Trolls are these magical creatures that turn to stone, then think again. On the internet, trolls are folks who make fun of other people. Most of the times they are just witty comments looking at the lighter side of things.

However, there have been cases where they have taken steps to prove a certain point. Like the Medium post on the security flaws of Ola Wallet. This could be done by just one person or an entire community of like minded people with a set agenda for e.g when 4chan trolled digg.com and had Reddit.com links on the entire front page of digg.com.

The reason why they are called trolls, is because like the trolls of myth, they feed on fear and slander. Just like the trolls of myth, they can be nasty while being pesky at best.

Trolls from the movie The Hobbit
Trolls from the movie The Hobbit

What is 66A?

We know that this has been scrapped by the Supreme Court. However, the 66A caused quite a flutter online. Mainly, because it made people accountable for what they said on social media networks.

Personally, I do not see how the Government of India has any jurisdiction on a social media platform such as Reddit or 4chan or 8chan for that matter. The way they impose this rule would be to put in deny rules for these sites (much like the WordPress.com ban by Pakistan). Internet and governance ranges from the sublime to the ridiculous.

FirstPost does an excellent job of explaining 66A and the implications of it being passed or scrapped.

So what about the trolls?

While the scrapping of 66A is a step in the positive direction, the internet is still full of trolls. Recently, I was subject to a particularly offensive comment on Reddit.

You are all scum.

Do you know the word scum? ; Gypsies. Dalits of the online world. That’s what you are to us, just most of us don’t admit it.

Karma is a bitch, hope you understand the irony. – referring to your treatment of the dalits and gypsies in your own country.

Yours is one of the worst institutionally racist societies. It’s just fair that you get the business of the stick from time-to-time too.

I bristled at this, but while this comment is racially offensive, there isn’t a thing that the 66A would have done. I chose not to respond to the comment and moved on with my life.

That’s what you need to do with trolls, ignore them. They will turn to stone.