When trolling takes a toll

25 April, 2021 12:00 AM printer

The illustration of the word "Troll" are the Meme or Rage comics. And the act of creating a meme, caricature or comic to criticise a person or thing is called trolling. According to Merriam-Webster dictionary, Troll means "to antagonise others online by deliberately posting inflammatory, irrelevant, or offensive comments or other disruptive content". Besides, we can say an online troll is also a person who posts a provocative or abusive message against others on social media.

On the other hand, social media is undoubtedly the vastest platform of communication for people around the world. It’s used in everything and it’s everywhere. We all use it; friends, family members, relatives and others. Social media has also made a tremendous contribution towards the revolutionary upliftment of many state entities. Even today, due to the privilege of social media, we can contact anyone easily from one side of the earth to another. The flipside is that is why the level of trolling is also growing high day by day with the media revolution. Today, the world population is eight billion and the internet has 3.17 billion users. With this sort of numbers all types of users are undoubtedly subjected to some form of social media trolling at one time or another during their usage. We need to know the impact of trolling, how it can impact on a state, society or a person who are included in the trolling:

Impact on person: Most of the internet users may be trolling for fun or for the sake of attracting the public, but they may not know what the problem might be, or they may not know how much trolling can hurt others. It can be said that the victim of trolling may go to the brink of suicide or may become a burning orb of revenge. Trolling can even be a cause of mental anguish as well, and as such it also falls under cybercrime or bullying. So trolling can bring grave danger like legal complications for those engaged in it. I’d like to explain those cybercrime laws in a nutshell:

"If the victim of trolling takes legal action under section 57 (2) of the Information and Communication Technology Act-2006 (Amendment 2013), the person being trolled may face imprisonment of seven to 14 years and a fine of up to Tk one crore."

Impact on a state and society: Trolling means internet slang by creating a meme, cartoon, video and caricature for a political group, a person or thing. Sometimes it seems these tasks bring a notable positive change in our society and state. But when those bear rumours or fake news and blast it over the whole country, then trolling becomes a big challenge in the way of progress of the state and society. Because fake news based trolling always refers to false reports or misinformation which are disguised as “real news” and aim to manipulate people’s opinions.

Besides, trolling which bears rumours is like a virus for a society or state. If it can spread in our society via online even once, then it may keep on circulating the negative effect on the state and society; may even incite anarchy and violence in the state or society. A vivid example of which is the unconscious attitude of the people of Bangladesh during the COVID-19 epidemic period.

Eventually, that is what I will say that we should stay away from trolling. If there is any inconsistency, our opinion should be presented in the form of suggestions. Just as we refrain from sin, cybercrime should not touch us too. So, let's be aware of trolling.


Josim Uddin, student, Department of International Relations, University of Dhaka.