Ermm. And I was mentioned here.

In this article. Which talks about misogynistic cyber bullying, something I think any woman who has been on the internet, and who has posted opinions that come from an independent mind has faced.
It has been a long journey to the sanguine, sage words of advice that I spout in the feature. I haven’t always been this chilled out about cyber trolling, block and ignore wasn’t always my first response to an obscene comment or hatred filled tweet.
In the distant past, I was a piece of emotional jello, reduced to a blubbering mass of tears every time someone decided they wanted to use my blogs or my twitter handle to vent their personal frustrations. I would cry, brood over it, read said trollish comment one zillion times, even put it up on the blog, or retweet it on twitter. And wonder why people hated me so much, was I that terrible. Ah yes, I have a terrible need for approval. Make that had. Not anymore. Back then, I was a morass of self pity. And I wanted to spread the joy, oh woe is me, lookit these nasty twerps and what they’re saying to me. I soon realised no one cared. Your trolls. You handle it. Or get off the net. Fair enough. Can’t face the heat stay out of the kitchen. A few friends would rise to my defence immediately, but the larger blogosphere and twitterverse couldn’t give a damn. And it wasn’t just me. Women were getting trolled left, right and centre. Friends I knew, celebrities, ask any woman on twitter and she will have a story to tell. The blogosphere is kinder, or perhaps the trolls don’t have the attention span to go through an entire blogpost and then get nasty. Some, of course do. The Mad Momma, a dear friend, has had some of the worst trolling I’ve ever seen in the blogosphere and she’s given back as good as she gets. But she’s a fiesty one. But it does wear you down, somewhere, somehow. You begin to wonder whether it is worth it all. Worth going online and writing about issues. Worth dealing with all that hate floating around, looking for any random receptacle to attach itself to.
And you stop for a while. A few days maybe. You introspect. And you realise it really isn’t worth it. You reach a state of mind when it falls off your back like the proverbial water off said duck’s back, because of grease coated feathers whatever. You realise it is not you who is the problem, it is them. It is they who have all that hate and nastiness oozing out of every pore that they need to go online, anonymous and vent out at unsuspecting women, because, hey, we are the weaker sex, they assume, and we’re going to be shivering in our boots at the terrible things they write to us, and they get their two minutes of joy, being inconsequential nobodies in their real lives.
Thinking it through worked. I toughened up. I also realised that none of the trolls had the courage to troll with their real names. And I tweet and blog with mine. Which is a choice I take, and therefore, I have exposed myself to cybertrolling. Ergo, it is not my place to complain, whine or use it to demand any sort of attention. I have, on twitter, stopped retweeting the trolls. I would do so earlier in order to alert other women who might get sucked into a conversation and wham, get hit by some trollish comment. Now I simply block and report spam. There are the trollish comments I get on some posts. I am now sanguine enough to just not post them and to block the ids. My blogs, I determine what goes up.
And at times, I feel sorry for them trolls. How pathetic their lives must be that they go around venting on women they don’t even know. They must be the online equivalent of street sexual harassers. And no, I will not say eveteasers, and I suggest you stop saying so too.
What has your experience been with trolling? How do you handle it? Do you feel by ignoring it we are doing other women a disservice? Should one make a fuss about it? I’d love to hear what you have to say.


About Kiran Manral

Kiran Manral published her first book, The Reluctant Detective in 2011. Since then, she has published eight books across genres till date. Her books include romance and chicklit with Once Upon A Crush (2014), All Aboard (2015), Saving Maya (2017); horror with The Face at the Window (2016) and nonfiction with Karmic Kids (2015), A Boy’s Guide to Growing Up (2016) and True Love Stories (2017). Her short stories have been published on Juggernaut, in magazines like Verve and Cosmopolitan, and have been part of anthologies like Chicken Soup for the Soul, Have a Safe Journey (2017) and Boo (2017). Her articles and columns have appeared in the Times of India, Tehelka, DNA, Yowoto, Shethepeople, New Woman, Femina, Verve, Elle, Cosmopolitan, Conde Nast Traveller, DB Post, The Telegraph, the Asian Age, iDiva, TheDailyO and more. She was shortlisted for the Femina Women Awards 2017 for Literary Contribution. She is a TEDx speaker and a mentor with Vital Voices Global Mentoring Walk 2017.
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6 Responses to Ermm. And I was mentioned here.

  1. shail says:

    Giving the royal ignore is my modus operandi. I have had trouble at my blog page, comments belittling my blog/writing style/me. I did post a blog about it once, but did not give the person the benefit of posting their comments. I strictly block and delete them. I for one am not going to give them any sort of publicity, because I feel that is exactly what they are hungering for.
    The questions, “Why are you deleting my comments?” kept coming, I laughed to myself. Like hell I was going to give them the stage to perform on my page.
    I had a 24-year old blogger (in IT field) badger me in my women-centric posts. I blocked him. Really I felt pity for the boy who at 24 had no life other than to keep commenting on the blog of an older woman, insisting that women are inferior to men. Perhaps he thought his repeating it often enough might change my mind??! Poor poor boy. Yeah, he is still around and the FB friend of my fellow blog friends of yore. 😛 That is another thing I have a grouse about. If people have proof that someone has been misbehaving with one among them, they still will not cut off the person from their list and keep it a personal problem between you and the troll/stalker. Well I guess I can’t blame them though, he must be good to them 😛


    • Kiran Manral says:

      That is so sad, exactly what I say. Tracked down one such troll turned out to be a venerable looking grey haired gentleman in a small town. And it was impossible to believe looking at him, that he would be posting such vile abuse. Anyway, informed his family and left it at that. What sad lives they must lead.


  2. Sachinky says:

    I don’t really care. I have had comments that, while questioning my attitude or stance regarding a post, were never vile or boorish. I am happy to explain my view point or discuss issues.

    After all, a blog is more than a diary, there is an aspect of inter-action to it. If I am putting it out there for the world to read, then the world at large has a right to comment on it. That’s just how I feel.

    I have never gotten really mean comments, so not sure how I’d deal with them, honestly. So far, though, I’ve not censored any comments.


    • Kiran Manral says:

      While one always welcomes comments and feedback, one does draw the line at outright abuse, vulgarity and such like. That is stuff one doesn’t put on the blog. Opinions that differ, of course are approved.


  3. I have had a few personal jabs at me on my blog, and I have chosen to just ignore. Because I choose to put part of me out there in the public domain I do leave myself open to comment. Whilst I don’t think the personal attacks are appropriate or valid, I feel sorry for the people that write them as they clearly have nothing better to do then attack someone they know very little about.


  4. LG says:

    I have had a troll at my blog (I don’t twitter of FB) a few years back. It upset me at that time, and I tried to give it back to him (pretty sure it was a him), but it only made me more vulnerable and weak.
    I have since learned to ignore them. I don’t allow them into my blog.
    But as you said, they do rattle you (like the guy who pinched my bottom in the bus – you can’t really ignore it, can you?)

    They do, but I’ve learnt to ignore now. Too many to take seriously and ruin my peace of mind.


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