The Indian Academy Of Trolls Is Pissing People Off

The art of cyber-bullying does not come naturally.

Welcome to the Academy of Trolls where we pass on the sacred education of spoiling people’s day on the internet. We impart the necessary training to assist the transition from a hater to a Professional Troll. Our courses specialise in disrupting social media harmony, provoking reactionary comments and communicating in hashtags.

The Academy of Trolls was once called UTI (University of Trolls India), however, that quickly backfired since people started trolling us instead by comparing our institute to a Urinary Tract Infection. We have similarly done make-overs for our Trolls, in an effort to make them trendy and acceptable, like calling them Nationalists, Conservatives, Gau Rakshaks etc.

Here are some ways in which you can also become an expert at trolling / blocking / spreading hate / and generally being anti-human.

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Our motto for community-building. Image source: wpmu.mah.se

Know Your Enemy
Identify who you are up against. Most movements collapse because of internal conflict and a lack of a unifying objective. Hence, we have defined hate as our common denominator, towards identifiable persons. Essentially, anybody who questions the ruling party, subscribes to the idea of a liberal society and quotes Gandhi or Nehru is an immediate prospect. Stay on the lookout for any isms - feminism, communism, atheism, veganism are buzzwords to be targeted immediately upon mention. racism, colourism, and sexism are fine.

Engage in Online Arguments
This is the main action point of the course we teach to our would-be Trolls. The goal is to select comments posted under critical online articles and engage them in arguments. No supportive comment should be left unbothered. Have a set conduct for dealing with such comments: maintaining a mocking tone, providing forwarded WhatsApp messages as facts, and coming together like a wolf pack to increase the number of ‘likes’ on the response. Because likes=truth.

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Gauri Lankesh outrage on social media. Image source: newslaundry.com

Deflect Online Arguments
Equally important is to support your own argument and protect it against detractors. After a Troll makes a point, there is bound to be several new-age, fact-checking 'truth pursuers’ refuting it. Against them adopt a never say die attitude and keep counter-arguing until the opposition is forced to logout, because they probably have a job… or a life. Take this as your profession, devise certain methods to deal with challenging comments.

Character Assassination
Immediately shift the focus of the argument from the topic at hand to the commenter. Their personal characteristics are to be made fun of - for eg their height, their looks, their skin colour, their city, the school they attended, etc. This requires a quick profile search and using 'Stalking Guide 101’ guidelines to gather enough information about the enemy. This is why all Trolls are advised to never reveal their personal identity on their profiles; only pictures of animated frogs, national flags, exotic flowers we don’t know names of and actors/actresses (whom we will also troll) to be used as a profile picture. In the About section, working at Facebook should suffice.

Name Calling/Labelling
A civil conversation allows space for a moral and logical conclusion, which is an antidote to a Troll. In order to make the opponent stoop to the Troll’s level of communication, employ trigger words that immediately garner a reaction. This disarms the opponent by invoking his primeval brain and respond in the same fashion. Distorted labels like libtard, feminazi, commie, antinational, act like road turns to change the course of the conversation. Prefixing 'pseudo’ before any term has shown to work equally well.

Trolling the 'anti-nationals’ Image source: Facebook.com

Random Data
We must also be aware of the public perception of a Troll, lest he is labelled and disregarded the way a Troll does to others. Therefore, every Troll is given a stack of data containing statistics and textbook clippings to appear knowledgeable. Please note that religious text is also considered to be scientific and is to be taken literally. Every “fact” is preceded by “It has been scientifically proven” and sprinkled with statistics to make it believable. The data does not have to be relevant to the topic in discussion; the purpose is only to sound intellectual.

Innovative Use of Language
A distinctive characteristic of a Troll is the dreadful spelling. This is, as opposed to popular opinion, not due to poor education (alone) but acts as an identifier. A Troll in need of backup can be immediately recognised by another Troll who can then pitch in. Horrible grammar, generous use of abbreviations, a complete disregard of punctuations and incoherent sentence structures are like a Troll S.O.S.

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Misspelled words. Image source: Facebook.com

Whataboutery
When no other technique works, resort to whataboutery - a fool proof method of passing the blame on to the one raising their voice in the first place. This works by assuming victimhood and expressing hurt the commentator caused by ignoring other similar incidents. The advantage of this method is that it allows the Troll to digress from the actual issue while appearing to be on topic. The template requires every response to begin by 'what about’, followed by any number of similar incidents. This gives the Troll complete immunity from lacking compassion about the victims in the relevant incident while assuming victimhood himself.  

Below is a case study from a Star Troll of batch 2009 putting each of the above technique to use, and cursing his way through the test.
(Commentator) “A recent report states that road contractors use cheap synthetic materials mixed with tar to cut costs. This causes pot holes with only a couple of uses. The extra money is shared between the contractors and the politicians of the current government”
(Troll) “LOLROFL. Here cumz anoder #Leftie. You’re an idiot sucks man”
(Commentator) “Excuse me? This is a serious issue for our road safety. I can see 3 potholes right outside my window at this very moment, and it isn’t a pleasant sight.”
(Troll) “You’re face isnt a pleasant site. Why dont u luk urself in da mirror…R u scared? Dont criticise the govnmt for any reasonz”
(Commentator) “Listen, I’m not trying to vilify anybody out a personal vendetta. This is a national issue. Do you know the repairs are costing the taxpayers crores every year?”
(Troll) “He sed national. HE IS ANTINATIONAL. Go bk to Pakistan, u porkie”
(Commentator) “Are you high? I am quoting facts here. Don’t waste my and everybody else’s time with your nonsense if you can’t produce any data”
(Troll) “U thnk your da only 1s with factz? Haan? Did u knew that ketchup wz sold as medicine in 1830s? U r nobody, the Argentine lake duck has a penis as long as its whole body”
(Commentator) “What? ermm…what are you even on about?”
(Troll) “What about the potholz in Bourbon street in New Orleans? What about the new packaging of Nestle’s Kitkat? What about our soljerz?”
(Commentator) “What about them? I would really appreciate you staying relevant and on topic here”
(Troll) “#libtards and pseudo intellectuals lyk u r alwayz gvng bad impressions bout our cuntry. V da BEST. Salman Bhai rockz!”
(Commentator) “Kill me!”

Group Rituals
Every once in a while, Trolls gather over the internet to perform group rituals that strengthen the community bond and pushes their agenda forward. These are enjoyable customs that fill a certain void that Trolls are born with and validates their existence. Some of the favourite group rituals are as below:
• Downrating apps of the company the commentator owns or works in. Apps of companies that share a resemblance with their name are also downrated to be on the safer side.  For e.g. if somebody from Zara has offended a Troll’s sentiment, then along with their app, the app for Xara will also be downrated
• Leaving 1-star Amazon reviews for books written by offending authors. Having read these books is not necessary
• Leaving 'love reacts’ over comments by fellow Trolls
• Issue rape and death threats to a female and male rival respectively

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The anatomy of a troll. Image source: trendhunter.com

Eligibility
Anybody with repressed sexuality can become a student of the Academy of Trolls. A repulsion of books and equal gender rights go a long way in the admission process. Experience in mob lynching is highly preferable. Applicants representing a minority of any sort will be disqualified. Unlike the regressive SC/ST quota, the Brahmins are offered seat reservations to restore the balance of the universe.

Job prospects
Trolls are recruited in large numbers by the IT cell of the ruling party in every election. Illegitimate religious organisations and militant groups are a close second in demand. Contrary to suspicions, the army has never employed any of the Trolls. Our alumni, out of respect and on their own liking, use them to propagate their agenda. Certificates of Patriotism are handed out to every Troll who mentions the Army in their arguments, even though none of them have ever served on the front or have known a soldier personally.  Every Troll is also entitled to a handful of air tickets to Pakistan, in case they need to send an online dissenter into exile. These are refundable trips to Karachi but can also be refunded to buy tridents, plastic flags and Patanjali products instead.



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Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are independent views solely of the author(s) expressed in their private capacity and do not in any way represent or reflect the views of 101india.com

By Jitesh Jaggi
Cover photo credit: themighty.com