Trolling is posting inflammatory, abusive, controversial, offensive, irrelevant messages against you to upset or provoke you to lash out or display emotional responses.
Trolling can start off a heated battle of words among the members in the group against each other while the person who started it enjoys the frustrated responses.
Few pointers / warning signs
- Inflammatory, attacking , agitating or provocative posts
- Derogatory posts that target a specific group, individual or subject.
- Posts on controversial topics to insite anger and reactions.
How can you safeguard yourself against online trolling?
It is important to know the measures to safeguard against trolling , as it can be cruel and harmful leading to serious issues like depression, self-harm or attempt to suicide.
- Keep yourself calm and ban/ block the troller, never feed on their bait by reacting to their trolls.
- Think carefully and thoughtfully before responding and put them off with humour or very kind response with specific relevant facts. Always reinforce about no troll policy and friendly group.
- Immediately complain against the troll to the social media help centre
- Identify and block the troller, few points/traits to identity the online troller are - spelling & grammar mistakes, they exaggerate, they make it personal and act entitled.
- Share your videos privately and restrict your privacy settings to friends only
What action can we take up in case we find affected by the offence?
a) Register a complaint at your nearest cyber crime police station
b) You also have the option to register an online complaint on cybercrime.gov.in
Important Tips :
*Always save the screen shots of the online incidents as proof to support your claim or complaint with relevant evidence. Also make a note of the person’s mobile number and other details of the suspect or culprit.
*Refer to the information given on the site cybercrime.gov.in related to various cyber crimes and related evidences to be submitted for the same.
The following are the list of the documents to be kept ready for filing an online or offline complaint
In Social Media related Complaints
- copy/screenshot of alleged contents, pictures, comments, messages, profile
- screenshot copy of URL of alleged contents
- contents should be in both hard & soft forms
- soft copy should be given in CD-R only
- copy/screen shot of complaint given by you to social media help centre
Know about what the Law Says with regard to this offence?
Online trolling may attract section 67 & 67A , under I.T. Amendment Act 2008. There are no specific laws against trolling in India. As a matter of fact, there can’t be as it will prohibit the right to freedom of speech. But, here are some laws that will help you tackle these online goons. They are categorized according to the type of activities, such as:
Defamation: Under section 499 IPC, posting obscene images/videos or remarks on social media can land you in trouble. Defaming a woman online can land you in jail for 2 years.
Sexually Explicit Content: The IT Act holds a person liable for publishing or transmitting sexually explicit content in electronic form. You can end up in jail for 5-7 years coupled with a ₹10 Lakh fine.
Criminal Intimidation: Under section 503 IPC a person can be convicted if he/she intents or threatens to harm a woman’s reputation. Similarly, section 507 IPC convicts a person for threatening a woman by anonymous communication.