#Issues

Here’s a Sneak Peek Into the Minds of the Troll Makers

India Trolls And What They Are After

The 1990s generation grew up on a diet of Harry Potter. For them, trolls were monsters who smashed things into pieces. Now, in the world of social media, trolls mean anything foul. Vicious barbs to unkind memes are trolls. These are not the trolls of fairy tales, but viral digital motifs that can easily make or break a person’s life. It can either make careers or end them. Trolls are considered as the most lethal weapon. Therefore, greatly feared. If trolls are feared, then troll makers should make most of us shiver. If they are that powerful, then one should know what goes on in their minds!

Why do troll makers get such a kick out of sending anonymous vile and abusive messages to others?

Sex, Lies & Trolls: Going Viral was a show on 5Star. An excerpt of the show was covered in The Daily mail in 2016 where a serial troll maker spoke about his thoughts behind making trolls.  “He hid his face behind a white mask, had his statements read by an actor to conceal his real voice and was referred to by the fake name ‘James’ when he was interviewed by presenter Will Best.

James told Will that he got into trolling after the ‘normal stuff’ he was tweeting ‘wasn’t getting any responses’.”

“He further explained: I realised, if I trolled with disagreements and nasty stuff that got me responses, retweets and likes. That’s what makes the trolls continue as they are getting attention. He admitted that it ‘felt like an achievement’ when his cruel taunts were seen and shared. It felt good getting retweets. The buzz made his tweets get darker, to the point where he was jailed for issuing death threats online in which he told strangers he would ‘hunt them down and kill and rape them’. Despite his stay behind bars, he doesn’t feel any remorse about what he has done – and said, can’t guarantee he won’t do it again.”

What drives them to cloak behind anonymity and spread hate?

Several such efforts and shows have tried understanding the psychology. In the Indian context, MTV Troll Police is a recent show that’s tracking down serial troll makers and are bringing them in front of the trolled celebrity. Watching such shows and reading a lot of such incidents lead us to certain things and traits these troll makers possess.

Anonymity is a primary answer itself. Being anonymous makes one free of his senses of the real world.

Anonymity is a power which most of the people wish to misuse. Most of us would have had random Facebook friend requests, weird names with pictures of celebrities poking us and random strangers trying to befriend us. This anonymity makes people thirsty to do things that they would not do under their identity. For example, One of the troll makers in troll police wrote such terrible things online but the moment he met the celebrity he was in praise of him.

Read other stories in #TryTrollHer here

The very fact that one does not have the ability to express one’s views in limelight is rather accomplished via anonymity.

If people use anonymity to pull someone down, it can be because of a number of reasons. He might be subjected to Dark Triad where he may possess qualities of NarcissismMachiavellianism, and psychopathy. These can be due to personal issues, childhood trauma or anything that might have affected the individual. Some might just be jealous and want to give all the hate in the world to a person concerned. One’s ego could have been bruised or maybe a clash of opinions or genuine dislike of someone or their actions. While all such feelings might have been there from time immemorial, the online world just gives a platform to vent out such feelings.

Surfing through experiences of troll makers revealing about the reason, some don’t regret and feel strong about what they have expressed while some break down and apologize. There is no one such reason as to why people end up making trolls. There might be innumerable reasons which differ from person to person. No troll maker had the same reason for doing so. While one said he did not know he did it, the other said he liked the attention and another one said he was just playing around.

Whatever might be the reason, everybody needs to understand the trauma caused by trolling. It’s no fun. It is, in fact, converting in bullying. It’s time to question masked faces who make life difficult to handle.

Also Read: The Misconceptions about Internet Trolling and Threatening

Reshma Ganeshbabu is an intern with SheThePeople.TV