Satire Shot

Video: 'If you can't convince them, confuse them', Or, 101 ways to train a social media troll

“It’s not our job to collect facts...After all Sri Sri Donald Trumpji said that facts are subjective.”

Twitter is a battlefield with the objective of taking no prisoners, which is no longer as a surprise to its regular users, thanks to vicious trolling and the deliberate use of sarcastic or inflammatory comments. Whether you like it or not, there are times when they make you wonder why you went online at the first place.

“That is our motto,” reveals “Manu Kapoor”, founder of the “Troll Training Center” (video below) which claims, tongue firmly in cheek, to be a “a breeding ground for India’s booming online trolls”.

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“A person who cannot understand a raita of swearing and accusation, won’t be able to clean it either!”

The video, made by Vipra Dialogues calls out cyber-bullying with black humour. “I know that to argue is our birthright and every argument needs a comeback and we provide them. But tell me who wins the argument? Not the one who is logical, it is the one gets blocked first,” remarks Kapoor, who says the secret to building a successful troll business is to channel employees’ frustrations.

One of them, named “Chandan Patel”, for instance, flaunts how he has received “certificate of nuisance” six times and feels that his sexist and hateful messages don’t really do any harm.

With images of academician Romila Thapar, writer and activist Arundhati Roy, and journalist Ravish Kumar crossed out in the background, the army of trolls is seen them brainstorming absurd reasons to attack political criticism on social media.

Although the video doesn’t get into political specificities, it eerily resembles the description of using trolling as a form of strategy in Swati Chaturvedi’s recently released book I Am A Troll: Inside The Secret World Of The BJP’s Digital Army.

A lot of questions have been asked about the psychology of trolling. The video below doesn’t offers some insights beyond the “just for fun” answer.

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Bringing your parents into the digital fold can be a rewarding experience

Contrary to popular sentiment, being the tech support for your parents might be a great use of your time and theirs.

If you look up ‘Parents vs technology’, you’ll be showered with a barrage of hilariously adorable and relatable memes. Half the hilarity of these memes sprouts from their familiarity as most of us have found ourselves in similar troubleshooting situations. Helping a parent understand and operate technology can be trying. However, as you sit, exasperated, deleting the gazillion empty folders that your mum has accidentally made, you might be losing out on an opportunity to enrich her life.

After the advent of technology in our everyday personal and work lives, parents have tried to embrace the brand-new ways to work and communicate with a bit of help from us, the digital natives. And while they successfully send Whatsapp messages and make video calls, a tremendous amount of unfulfilled potential has fallen through the presumptuous gap that lies between their ambition and our understanding of their technological needs.

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Our belief is that tech is highly learnable. And learning doesn’t stop when you graduate from school. That is why we have designed specific programmes for seniors to embrace technology to aid their personal and professional goals.

— Priyanka Gothi, Founder & CEO, Retired Not Out

Ideas like Retired Not Out promote inclusiveness and help instil confidence in a generation that has not grown up with technology. A positive change in our parent’s lives can be created if we flip the perspective on the time spent helping them operate a laptop and view it as an exercise in empowerment. For instance, by becoming proficient in Microsoft Excel, a senior with 25 years of experience in finance, could continue to work part time as a Finance Manager. Similarly, parents can run consultation blogs or augment their hobbies and continue to lead a fulfilling and meaningful life.

Advocating the same message, Lenovo’s new web-film captures the void that retirement creates in a person’s life, one that can be filled by, as Lenovo puts it, gifting them a future.

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Depending on the role technology plays, it can either leave the senior generation behind or it can enable them to lead an ambitious and productive life. This festive season, give this a thought as you spend time with family.

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This article was produced on behalf of Lenovo by the Scroll.in marketing team and not by the Scroll.in editorial staff.