Acclaimed actress, Nadia Hussain, asserted that she usually set aside social media trolling but does not tolerate comments on her children.
Nadia Hussain expressed these views in response to a question on how she deals with abrasive trolling on social media and what advice she has for other celebrities who have to deal with the merciless slandering on social media.
Hussain appeared for a brief interview in Hum News’s Program, Subha Say Agay that discussed the unpleasant impact of social media trolling and how to deal with it.
نادیہ حسین سوشل میڈیا ’ٹرولنگ‘ کا جواب کیسے دیتی ہیں؟
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Host Owais Mangalwala and Shiffa Yousafzai asserted that where social media platforms have bolstered freedom of expression it has also amplified insolence and intolerance in society. Mangalwala added that while social media caters to polarized opinions, it is also complicit in disparaging people with opposite beliefs.
They cited the recent instance of Dua Mangi, a 20-year-old girl, who was kidnapped from Karachi, and the resultant social media furor that slut-shamed her and sullied her character. Yousafzai asked Hussain that celebrities are usually the soft targets of social media trolls. Hence, how does she deals with trolls?
Hussain asserted that much of it depends on the discernment of the celebrities to distinguish social media reactions that worth attention from those that merit ignorance. While in most cases ignorance is the solution but celebrities-just like another human beings must draw a line to what is acceptable behaviour.
She added that while television does not cater to two-way communication between people and celebrities, social media is a medium where people can directly reach out to them through their public accounts.
Hussain was further asked how the families of celebrities cope with the smear campaign on social media. The model added that the families must be prepared to counter such conditions and need to be trained if needed to deal with slurs on social media. Since such things are bound to happen’ only the reaction can navigate people through these unkind situations.
She said, for instance, she might escape rude comments about herself but does not spare any negative comments regarding her children. In case of any verbal assault on her children, she holds no bar, and admonish trolls.
Mahira Khan has been the prime target of social media trolls. She was mercilessly attacked after her private pictures of smoking with Indian actor Ranbir Kapoor went viral on social media. Trolls even indulged in character assassination.
Hussain added that she once personally contacted the social media trolls and censured them for passing derogatory remarks on one of her posts. The trolls apologized to her in response who admitted that they thought she would not read the comments.
She was asked why women are more prone to libelous comments than men on social media. Hussain replied that women are considered a soft and easy target on social media; the manipulative standards for men and women and strict cultural norms for women particularly spurs the watchdog attitudes for female celebrities.
She said that if anything, confidence is the key to tackle social media trolling. She said social media derision or mockery can perturb anyone only due to guilt. One must fearlessly tackle the troll if convinced they are right.
The discussion concluded on the point that there is a need to train people regarding the use of social media. Furthermore, the concept of freedom of expression entails elaboration but toxic social media trolling merits negative sanctions and discouragement.
Social media and Pakistani actors
Interestingly, recent instances of Mahira Khan, Mehwish Hayat, Ayesha Omar, and Firdous Jamal have exposed the tendency of social media users to exude jarringly uncivilised behavior while mocking or condemning these celebrities.
Mahira Khan has been the prime target of social media trolls. She was mercilessly attacked after her private pictures of smoking with Indian actor Ranbir Kapoor went viral on social media. Trolls even indulged in character assassination. The actress practiced restraint and did not respond to the whirlwind of criticism on social media but later expressed her anguish and pain towards the unfriendly comments on social media in one of her Instagram posts.
On the other hand, Mehwish Hayat also encountered unpleasant mockery on social media on multiple occasions; she was disdained for receiving the highest national accolade Tamgha-e-Imtiaz, with opponents leveling objectionable slur on her character. Then, she was criticized for performing item songs in movies. Hayat, however, dissed the trolls every time she encountered below the belt remarks on her social media posts.
Firdous Jamal, too, suffered extreme dissension after he passed crass remarks on Mahira Khan. His son had to step forward to silence the inflamed social media users, who transgressed boundaries of decently while condemning the actor’s statements.
The examples above endorse the fact that while social media is a platform to cushion freedom of expression, restraint and decency is the foremost component to sustain the sanity and utility of these platforms for constructive discourse in the society.