More than post-truth, what has really defined the outgoing year is the amount of trolling that has come with social media fame and prominence. While celebrities were already attuned to the idea of being hounded by media for what they wear to what they do, social media has taken it to the next level.
The functioning of these services is based on the number of followers you have, but nowadays Facebook and Twitter abound with trolls in the guise of followers, taunting and shaming celebrities. India is no exception to this trend, and Indian pacer Mohammad Shami was the latest target of trolls—however, it was not over his performance, but for posting a picture of his wife in “unIslamic” attire.
Shami is not the first one to be trolled on this issue, tennis ace Sania Mirza was also criticised severely over her clothes, with fatwas issued against her for not covering her body while playing.
While most celebrities are accustomed to being criticised for their work, the new-age followers are taking things a bit too far by commenting on their personal lives. More important, instead of turning liberal, there has been a radicalisation of views on social media.
As Facebook and Twitter are trying their best to curb the menace of fake news, they would do well to protect people from incessant trolling. More so, as these celebrities’ presence is what attracts more people to these services. Freedom of expression cannot come at the cost of suppressing freedom of others.