Twitter: Daily Dose of Intellect or Abuse?
Many a times in the recent past, I have mulled whether to uninstall Twitter. I think I can afford to live without the negativity and abuse in my life. No, I have NOT been trolled or abused personally except a couple of times. I was lucky to be able to give back in a more educated way till the offending person apologized. But I see many others, many celebrities, some well-known figures, esp. women being harassed, abused in the filthiest of the language, with vivid description of their anatomies. If it is a male then his parentage is questioned every time. And Yes, I forgot, our Nationalism & Patriotism too is questioned. And add to it, is the advice to go to a favorite destination -a trip to our neighboring country.
Twitter was a great platform to interact with people. To be concise in our words given the restriction for 140 letter limit. It brought out the best one can say in so few words. It gave me breaking news, to views on ground, rather than from colored journalists. It gave us a platform to express ourselves well, and to share our opinion, crack a joke or post a tit for tat message with humour and intelligence. I love Shirish Kunder’s hilarious tongue in check comments and his take on events. It is a platform where one could express, be heard, resolve issues and reach out for help. I have seen many good things spread through Twitter. The prime example being our own Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu using Twitter to reach out and help passengers in distress, or many corporates using the Tweets to handle irate customers.
Our PM uses it to convey his views and has become a much followed leader with nearly 1.94 crore (19.4 Million) followers.
Yet, somewhere we lost the plot. There came in a Brigade of illiterate, paid per tweet Trolls, uncouth in behavior, unparliamentary in their language, fueled by politics and divisive in their agenda, who have made the place quite unliveable. Disagreeing is a part of debate, yet everything in Twitter turns to abuse and vitriolic hatred. I witnessed once, a wife of a senior Defence officer, who has lived always for the nation, taken all her discomforts in her stride, called a Paki Bot, by an educated illiterate, just because she tweeted in support of the OROP and her handle had a Muslim name.
Another journalist Col Ajay Shukla has been accused of being Absent without Leave from Army (which is a total lie) and is also called a Arms Wheeler Dealer just because he is in disagreement with some policies of the Govt. These are the least of the abuses in the hierarchy.
Shruti Seth was abused and trolled for tweeting against the PM’s idea of Selfie with Daughter. Recently Barkha Dutt revealed that she was a victim of sexual abuse as a child. Such a profound moment of truth for a women under national glare giving her voice to the illness in our society. How long would she have debated in her mind to bring the incident out into public forum, is anybody’s guess. One need not agree to Barkha’s views. But as a woman, she had shared her pain. Yet she was abused so much, that the pain she must have got on Twitter would definitely been more than the physical trauma she must have endured.
Anyone who talks against the the Govt, is a target. This is phenomena that I noticed for the past two – three years. One feels there is an organised Tweet Brigade at work to take on anyone who says anything against the Govt line of thinking. One should see the kind of tweets, to actually understand the level of intellect displayed by some of these brainless vermin. Just because a smart phone has been given to them, they revel to reveal how idiotic they are.
Some have a jaundiced mind, so much of prejudice and an agenda, that they do not even have a sense to understand a tweet from a parody account. Even our Home Minister was a victim of this thought, when he quoted a parody account tweet as proof of something that never happened during the JNU episode.
I can understand if an illiterate, good for nothing person tweets such rubbish. The saddest part is there are enough educated with highly placed jobs, who do this, and find glee in the anonymity. Freedom of speech has made us such uncouth citizens. I wish Twitter does something to such abusive people.
So what must we do? I have seen a group called #BhaktHunters who have been getting abusive accounts deactivated. But that, I feel is restricted to political agenda mostly. I have also seen some abusive guys squirming and apologising when some lady threatened to complaint to the cyber police. All of you esp. women out there, stick to the Truth and Facts, and when it gets abusive, do complain to the Police if the Tweet crosses limits of decency. You may check this link for more information.
Block the Trolls and abusers, and do not allow anyone to just follow you. One may be in a race to collect max followers, but remember you are as good as the company you keep. Hence filter them out.
I think I will go Twitterless for now or just block or un-follow the brainless, till a sense of sanity prevails. Till then the newspaper will be my last resort to get breaking news. I have stopped watching the brainless debates on TV for couple of years now. Better to live peacefully than get a daily dose of bullshit served through your mobile phone.
“You cannot Change the People around You, but you Can Change the People that you choose to be around”
May Peace Be With You!