‘Difficult to regulate internet trolling’

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on January 20, 2018 Published on May 23, 2016

With the proliferation of social media, internet trolling is increasingly becoming a big challenge, especially for women users on social media. In recent times, there is a growing voice against this online harassment especially faced by women in power, whether it’s celebrities, journalists or politicians.

While there have been growing voices to set up a mechanism to control online trolling, government officials believe it is not feasible to regulate or check online abuse and trolling as jurisdictions are territorial. While they do acknowledge the role social media has played as an instrument of promoting freedom of expression as well as empower people, some officials believe that if growing misuse of social media channels does not come down, the medium may burn itself out and lose credibility.

Take for instance: Cricketer Virat Kohli who had to recently, come out in defence of actor Anushka Sharma, after trolls routinely took to social media to blame her if he performed badly in a match. Kohli came out with a strong statement on Instagram and Twitter, “Shame on blaming and making fun of her (Anushka) when she has no control over what I do with my sport.”

He said “shame on those people who call themselves educated” and “having a go at Anushka for the longest time and connecting every negative thing to her.” Celebrities such as Sonakshi Sinha, Abhishek Bachchan and Sonam Kapoor are known to have come down strongly against trolls.

Earlier this year, Twitter in collaboration with Observer Research Foundation and FICCI Ladies Organisation launched the #PositionofStrength initiative in India for bridging the gender gap online. According to a Twitter blog post, various online influencers who are associated with the campaign believe that having more and more women come on social media platforms and have a strong voice, may help change response to abuse and trolling in social timelines and discussions.

Published on May 23, 2016
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