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The Facebook ‘Friend’ who trolls!

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Venkat Parthasarathy
Venkat Parthasarathy
Life is Cricket + Mohd.Rafi + Kishore Kumar. News and sports buff ! हिन्दी हैं हम वतन है - हिंदुस्तान हमारा ! Anand Bagh - Hyderabad

He could be your primary school classmate, or the team-mate in the college cricket team, the long-lost medical representative friend or the co-worker in the agency you interned at. You know him and have ‘once again’ befriended him on social media through an innocuous “Friend” request – a subtle click to ‘accept’ an unknown entity in your social life.

You have your interests – be it sports ranging from European Football, Cricket, Tennis, NBA to Formula 1, movies, music, religion or politics. Your opinions are largely moderate and are mostly in tune with the majority.

You spend considerable time on Facebook posting your opinion on all your ‘knowledgeable’ subjects and engage in meaningful discussions with your ‘friends’, sometimes agreeing, sometimes disagreeing and sometimes agreeing to disagree.

Then the ‘faceless’ friend starts engaging – what starts as banter soon gets irritating to the point of becoming seriously annoying.

Congratulations! You are now an uninvited guest to the world of trolling. Welcome to the Facebook troll. Urban dictionary defines a Facebook Troll as a Facebook user who posts for one or both of two reasons: a) to disrupt; b) to gain attention.

In this case, and in most cases the ‘so called well-informed faceless urban intellect’ is having a serious bout of identity crisis and is thus here to ride on your ‘social popularity’ through disruptive means – He is an absolute attention seeker.

All the while you are having fun posting interesting anecdotes, pictures, humourous take on sporting events and political ideologies constantly engaging your audience.

There has been perfect harmony of your social media life until this person starts commenting tangentially opposite opinion or tagging you with a dozen other ‘mutual friends’ on annoying to the level incinerating hate posts.

However simple or harmless your post would be, he would either pick up an argument or add an angle of distasteful anger into the narrative.

All your endeavours to give information and attempts at meaningful discussion would fall flat and disengaging would be the only option left.

Remember, the troll is seeking attention, not just from you but your friends and followers by spewing venom. He loves to disrupt and in the process shame you. He surely gets the kick out of your discomfort.

To quote from an earlier article on the internet trolls: The growth and spread of internet is expected to bring in newer and hitherto unheard of young users to taste the freedom of unsubdued expression and studies on the psychology of the internet trolls reveal that “people who are physically distanced from each other are less likely to play nice”

Among the many options you have is to have a straight in the face debate to put an end to the trolling, which in all probability would make no headway or change to such hardened disrupters or quietly block the user from viewing and commenting on your posts or even simply ‘unfriend’ the unwanted intruder.

Social media engagement is not all about the unknown, faceless Twitter trolls, some known but harangued Facebook ‘friends’ could also get under your nerve.

Stay put and put them to place!


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Venkat Parthasarathy
Venkat Parthasarathy
Life is Cricket + Mohd.Rafi + Kishore Kumar. News and sports buff ! हिन्दी हैं हम वतन है - हिंदुस्तान हमारा ! Anand Bagh - Hyderabad
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