At one point or another, we have all wished to be popular. But public figures don’t always have it easy, especially in the age of Internet trolls. The word ‘troll’ is slang for a person who deliberately starts arguments on the internet with the aim of provoking an individual or group into a reaction.
And Presidental Spokesman, George Charamba seem to have had too many of trolls hot on his trail on Twitter. The Presidential Spokesman has quit Twitter after he received ‘abusive replies’ on the social media platform from trolls. In his final tweet, Mr. Charamba tweeted;
Thank you all for the engagements. I had a few good conversations but it was mostly abusive replies. I’ve always been sceptical about Twitter but was encouraged to join by fellow Cdes. I’ve however come to the conclusion that it’s not worth my time. Handle will shut in next 2hrs
The account has since been deactivated. We don’t really know what sort of abuses were directed to him but we suspect it was a mixed package of political and personal (provoking) comments by Charamba’s trolls.
Getting off social media at a time when his Boss (the President) is embracing technology and the digital world is somewhat ironical. Today, the President went as far as to launch his own app on top of the social media accounts and a website he already has. And the same trolls he is avoiding (by deleting his Twitter account), abuse the President as well. I suppose if you are a politician you have to bear the brunt of trolls.
Trolls will make deliberately cruel, racist, homophobic and sexist comments just to get someone’s attention and hurt their feelings. For this reason, the best way to get a troll to go away is simply to ignore them (although its hard).
We know that Twitter has made moves to improve the experience. Twitter users can now improve their experience by muting certain words or phrases in their feed. They can also guarantee that they don’t get notifications from Twitter accounts that don’t have a profile picture or those that aren’t linked to a verified phone number or email address. Also, reports of abuse now receive feedback from the company.
And so goes life on Twitter. None of us are immune to Twitter trolls.