Note: I am not a real troll. I am just a guy behind a screen pretending to be another guy writing mean things on the internet. Okay, that sounds like a troll, but I swear this is just an attempt at satire.
I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe. I watched your liberal principles glitter in the dark of your old tweets. And though I hide my cold gaze and you can shake my hand and feel flesh gripping yours, maybe you can even sense our lifestyles are comparable, I am simply not there.
You won’t find me when you seek, for I am proficient at administering fake accounts. The cops can, if they realise the public pressure is too much to counter with friendly PR memes. But be assured, I am forever shadowing you like your phone company, and your internet company and your governments, following the scent of every opinion you wish to make public
I have no beef with you. I am just another guy trying to pay rent. Or I would be able to if we had a proper pay structure, which brings me to the crux of the matter- we need better rights, pay, bonus structured around the kind of people we troll and the consequent fallout. But more than anything else, we need weekends off.
You might think trolling is just going around issuing threats and being an absolute piece of sh*t. But that’s just not true. It takes patience and a lot of creativity; creativity you can’t call upon when you have too many progressives in different fields of occupation saying things they want to say.
Surely you understand trolling Rana Ayyub or Pratik Sinha is not the same as trolling some random woman with an opinion. You can’t just WhatsApp forward your way into silencing them. Journalists have facts and no matter how much American TV you watch, there isn’t just much you can do while countering facts.
This is why you see us going after people’s looks. I will be the first to admit, it’s very lazy. Then come the threats of violence, for which I can’t say I am sorry because it’s not our fault.
We just don’t have the time for more nuanced conversations.
Between retweeting copy-pastes and sending thousands of WhatsApp forwards, even with those fancy toolkits, we get exhausted. And it’s not like we have specific office hours. Whenever someone online makes sense, we have to be there. Someone made a film we didn’t like, we have to be there to respectfully ask for the actress’ head.
Think of us like dogs on a walk. We see something, we gotta pee on it.
But even dogs need to relax and sleep. See, we start off early in the morning with Twitter trends (not $$R stuff, we refuse to be clubbed with those idiots), then we have to scroll through the timeline for the usual suspects, the Swara Bhaskars and such. Then once we have curated all the stuff, we have a meeting, where we are given targets.
But as the day goes on, those targets change, the severity of tweets increases and god forbid if one of these celebrities decides to grace us with a reply. Then, you have to wake up everybody in the team, even the ones on leave and get them to abuse in a timely manner. That takes the whole day.
And if someone like N**ika K**ar picks it up, that’s a whole week wasted on trying to defend what these clowns say on LIVE TV. Everybody knows what ‘Imma Bounce’ means, woman, FFS, get a grip.
That’s a typical day. What’s worse is when liberals celebrate LGBTQ people. OMG, just stop existing.
On days where sexual and gender diversity is celebrated, we have to deal with a rather large crowd, messier and more chaotic than usual and often quite eager to prove their allyship and make claims about having ‘one gay friend’. More often than not, it ends with some of us getting suspended for no fault of our own. Of course, it all calms down in a few days and everybody goes back to not caring and living their lives.
Except us. We have to be back the very next day and go spread chaos again as our lives depend on it. The truth of it is, most of it is not even chaos. It’s just veiled rape threats. You can always tell because the slowest among us spell it like R@|>E.
See, the quality of trolling, especially on Indian social media spaces has gone down. Sure, we have come a long way in the last decade but now, it just feels so monotonous. And we have no long term plans. We are busy winging it. What happens when Kohli inevitably scores a century? What then? How are you gonna troll Anushka Sharma for at least a few weeks?
We should have already thought of that. Those two have been married a while, we should already have a bucket of abuses. But we don’t because we can’t think about it, because we are working 12-14 hours a day, 7 days a week.
On top of that, every now and then we have to defend Kangana. I am so glad she’s off Twitter but sometimes her Instagram stuff crossovers to Twitter and again, we are left to defend the indefensible. And it’s every week with this woman!
Pray tell, how do you defend someone who says planting trees would help us counter oxygen shortage?
The right answer is you can’t, but we do.
And it takes a toll on us, on all of us. And it’s not like this is an organised sector, so we get proper pay, benefits, sick leaves, mental health day, period leaves etc. None of that.
Last week, my therapist told me I looked sad. How do I explain to him that I spent the whole day screaming to people that depression isn’t real?
And how do you think it will be received if women in our organisations start taking period leaves? We have already gone too far by allowing them to be more than baby-making machines!
You may hate us but that is a luxury you have. Son, we live in a world with the internet and a plague of Western values. You sit there with your neo-liberal politics with a leftist facelift because you have that privilege. You weep for the women and you curse us trolls. You have the luxury of not knowing what we know, that trolling progressives, while cruel, saves our way of life; and our existence, while grotesque, and incomprehensible to you, saves our way of life!
We use words like sanskar, culture and patriarchy as weapons to revive this country with, while you use them as punchlines. As the West colonises our minds, who do you think fights for our way of life?
You? Your feminist friend? You don’t want the truth because deep down in places you don’t talk about at parties, you want me behind that computer, you need me behind that computer!
This is why we need your help. Organising and unionising has been suggested to us but that’s all commie, Urban Naxal methods and we don’t want to be a part of that. Look, we may be different but we are off the same ecosystem, you and I; perpetually feeding off of each other’s retweets. I exist because you refuse to exist in peace. Help us, help you. Get us our weekends.