IPL 2020 and Trolling
IPL 2020 and Trolling go hand in hand. As the Indian Premier League approaches the latter half of its fixtures, the competition to secure a place in playoffs has intensified. The Delhi Capitals and Mumbai Indians have been neck and neck in the fight for top position while the Royal Challengers Bangalore and Kolkata Knight Riders are current favorites for the third and fourth positions.
However, this is “The Great Indian Premier League” where fortunes rise and fall within a span of few matches. Such is the spirit of all teams, which are evenly balanced and experienced to turn odds to advantages. Hence, teams that are down the table could yet not be dismissed off the fight as they are within the range of top four positions.
Fans and Trolls
As the points table assures a nail biting finish to the league fixtures, the fans of each team are in excitement. The recent trend of posting trolls and memes in social media platforms (in other words, the “troll culture”) has led to a space for expressing likes and dislikes over a team’s performances in a less critical and humorous way.
When a team constantly performs poorly in the tournament, opinions arise over the captaincy, coaching as well as harmony inside the team.
While trolls and memes that promote healthy outlooks over such matters are highly artistic and thought-provoking, the purpose has been demeaned by certain sects of fans who tend to go berserk over social media.
Any post that criticizes their team’s performance pushes them to bully the person or page who/that posted it. They even go to the extent of abusing family members of the person or take it to a cyber war with counter trolls that are too harsh.
The recent performances of the Chennai Super Kings and the reactions to it could be taken as an example of this.
The most consistent team of IPL ever since it was created is the Chennai Super Kings. Their performances over the years have made even their utmost haters appreciate the fact that the team got into the playoffs every single season they played.
However, this season proves to be the most demanding for the team as they are yet to find a winning rhythm and are well behind in the race to playoffs. This has proved to be a feast for the team’s critics and haters who took it to social media to celebrate the fall of the Kings.
While certain trolls address the key issues that the team is facing, others are slapsticks by other team’s fans.
Out of Hand
Any troll or meme that advocates healthy humor are to be accepted as part of the freedom of expression. Unfortunately, this is not the case as fans often engage themselves in exchange of abuses that nullifies the whole purpose of what trolls are accepted for.
The fans of CSK are to understand the truth that such trolls would be on the way when one team is performing badly and that there would also emerge a situation advantageous to them when another team is facing tough times.
Tit for Tat is not a healthy way of trolling as it would only lead to senseless bullying and cyber-attacks in the long run. The constant tussles between CSK and MI fans are examples of such Tit for Tat cyber bullying.
Threats on Ziva
The danger seems evident over the rape threats on MS Dhoni’s five year old daughter Ziva. The main reason for such tendencies is the fact that it is the virtual world. Identities could be faked and traces cut off through VPNs.
Each day, thousands of complaints are reported in cyber police forces around India while the force proves to be insufficient in handling such humongous numbers.
League of Trolls
One could also club such trolls and memes as part of the parallel “League of Trolls” wherein the fan base of each team are trying to score a shot as much as possible, by creating separate troll pages for each team wherein they post positive memes of their team and critical ones of others.
Once again, if the emphasis is on performance of the team, the trolls are to be upheld in the right spirit. On the other hand, if the purpose is to demean, defame and abuse without proper justification, such tendencies are to be discouraged by all means.
Fans have the right to express joy as well as anguish and the tournament is never short in providing adrenaline rushes. Yet, such expressions and opinions, while taking the form of trolls and memes, are to be double checked for discrimination, abuse and justification.
Fans are to show sportsman spirit in allowing and encouraging healthy criticism of their teams irrespective of the love for the team. Counter posts of defense are also to be encouraged and made free of impulsive expressions for the sake of having to defend.
Such practices could provide a healthy platform for logical discussions over the progress of the tournament and performances of various teams. Thus, the parallel “League of Trolls” would be a harmonious space with freedom of expression, devoid of abuses, threats and bullying.