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September 22, 2019
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Social Media: Socializing over trolls!

A few years ago, Facebook and twitter were a platform to solely to socialize and have some critical and constructive dialogues. I could see people sharing valuable information whether it is social, cultural, economic or political. By people I am specifically talking about the general public of Pakistan. But gradually the inclination is being shifted and the social world has transformed into a trolling world.

At this point, I am not opposing trolling and other such entertainment gimmicks on social media but I reprimand the bounds of trolling that have been breached. You log into your Facebook or twitter account and all you find is waggish tweets and posts. The trend of becoming more eminent through trolling has emerged. Want a 1000 likes? Post a tweet on Qandeel Baloch! Rarely do we find posts with an intention other than the desperation of earning five minutes of fame. So when we make countless trolls on talentless people like Qandeel Baloch, it’s us who let these people rise to the heights of social media stardom.

Here I will mention another screen idol on social media “Amir Liaqat”. I go through a number of trolls on him on regular basis and the most provocative one I found is “Amir Liaqat, a martyr”. The word “martyr” is extremely revered to be used in trolls because you are not only making fun of an individual but also showing cold heartedness towards your faith and the real martyrs without even realizing it.

A few days ago there was a proclamation by Maulana that went viral on social media “You can beat women so much that their bones should not break”. Though widespread denunciation was seen on social media but the ratio of trolls was quiet higher. Now this is a different scenario. It is a verse from the Holy Quran that Maulana misinterpreted. All we should have done is to look up for details and shed light on the authentic meaning. But what we actually did was that we came up with dozens of trolls out of a verse. One said, “Don’t get married, keep your bones strong”. We are not even realizing that we are degrading our own faith since we are unacquainted to distinguish the boundaries of sensitivity and comicality.

The selfie of Komal Rizvi with Abdul Sattar Edhi lead to the trolls overloading the internet. We should learn to raise arguments with an intention to solve than to troll with an intention to earn cyber fame. A troll is never going to substantiate a point and rarely that opinion will ever be taken seriously. When a humor crosses its limit, it does not remain a humor but turns into an online harassment. The day online harassment will be put forward as a fundamental question will be the day excessive and exaggerated trolling will be come to a closure.

In a country with multiple challenges from social and economic to religious disputes, the trend of trolling anything and everything is an alarming situation. It’s not about trolling, its more about shifting of the psyche of a society towards insensitivity. Facebook and twitter are the largest social media manifesto; a single piece of your consequential information can reach millions of people around the globe. We should make best use of this platform, come up with solutions, put forward valuable opinions, start campaigns for social causes, fight for injustice and make social media our potency instead of a platform to troll.

Blogger: Khadija Khan