Thursday, March 27, 2014

Trolls on a roll.

Three jokes exemplify the true nature of the Twitter troll: #YoKejriwalSoHonest that he got his 4GB memory card arrested when it got corrupt! #YoNamoSoFeku that he claims to have created a solar plant in Gujarat to power the sun! #YoRahulSoDumb that he’s asking why the missing plane MH370 has a Maharashtra number plate!

Being mean, witty, obnoxious, and acerbic, are trademark traits of trolls. Punching below the belt comes naturally to them. They are judged not by the number of arguments they won but by the number of people they ridiculed and bullied with their barbs. Political parties of all hues have pressed an army of cyber warriors into service to max the electoral match on the internet. The strategy is to silence the opponent with relentless name calling.

Which is why, one gets to see a profusion of synonyms for Kejriwal on twitter. Right from ‘Tragedywal’, ‘Dramewal’, ‘Khujliwal’, ‘Muffler Don’, ‘Paltu’, ‘Anarchist’ to ‘AK 49’. In contrast, Narendra Modi has fewer monikers. He’s sometimes called ‘Feku’ (Hindi for Mr.Bombastic), ‘Maha Feku’, ‘Feku Express’ or ‘Bluff Master’. Rahul Gandhi is universally panned as ‘Buddhu’ and ‘Pappu’. Poor chap!

Subramanian Swamy could legitimately claim to be the granddaddy of trolls as he started the practice of running down rivals by liberally spewing vitriol. Sonia Gandhi was the first recipient of Swamy’s unrequited love. At different points in time, she’s been vilified as ‘TDK’ (after Tadaka, a demoness), ‘Putana’ (another demoness) and ‘Vishkanya’ by the patron saint of insults.

Taking Swamy’s cue, legions of trolls have dished out slanderous nicknames to the ones they presumably hate. Barkha Dutt has been spoofed as ‘Burkha Dutt’ by the saffron chaddiwalas, Rahul Kanwal has been scoffed at as ‘Rahul Kamal’ by AAPtards who assume all journalists to be BJP stooges, Rajdeep Sardesai has been unfairly caricatured as Mr Chordesai and Chetan Bhagat excoriated as ‘Satan Bhagat’.

Scurrilous as these may sound, the only way to keep the pesky trolls out of your timeline is to ‘report tweet’ when you find something objectionable. Some with a sense of humour and a thick hide, don’t take such extreme measures. Instead they hit back by trolling the trolls!