She has been an active social media influencer for a while. And for US-based Indian Dr Rupa Murthy, being trolled is part of being a social media influencer. While it’s a regular occurrence, she doesn’t deny that it takes a lot of patience to get over it. Sometimes, these trolls go overboard. Enough to make any social media influencer loose their cool. Murthy was caught up in a similar situation when she was harassed a couple or years ago for supporting PM Narendra Modi.
Murthy says that trolling to an extent is completely okay, as long as it is not about abusing, giving threats, morphing photos or making sexually explicit comments that include rape threats. That is crossing the line and a crime. She shares that many social media influencers, regardless of their political ideology, or even gender, face this. While she disregards most hate messages and troll comments, she takes rape threats, morphing of her photos and death threats seriously. “We live in a world where the line between online life and real life is severely blurred. Crimes have been committed based on social media activities. So when I feel someone could pose a threat to my life or my modesty as a woman, I do seek help from law enforcement,” she says.
Murthy feels that most of these trolls are youngsters and some teenage kids don’t think before making threats in the name of being “cool” and “woke”. Some of them don’t realise the gravity of their threatening comments. She has had some run-ins with such kind too and she almost took the matter to the cops, but restrained herself because a police case against minors could be detrimental for their future. She says she uses this experience to teach her teenage kid to be sensible when disagreeing with someone on social media or even in real life.
Ask her if she has an advise for young social media influencers out there who are still getting a hang of how things work in the world of social media, and Murthy suggests that if the trolling is mild, one must learn to ignore and shrug it off. But if the trolling involves rape threats, photo morphing or death threats, one must seek help from the law enforcement. Such things should never be tolerated.