No One Tells You What Happens When You Go Viral, But No Troll Can Stop Me

Posted by Pooja Kochar in #NoPlace4Hate
September 30, 2017
Facebook logoEditor’s Note: With #NoPlace4Hate, Youth Ki Awaaz and Facebook have joined hands to help make the Internet a safer space for all. Watch this space for powerful stories of how young people are mobilising support and speaking out against online bullying.

My fight is to keep blogging real and no troll is stopping me. If there is a story that needs a voice then I will make sure that the facts are shared without any bias.

I am not a fashion blogger, which means I would never be commercially viable. I am 30ish and on the cusp of dying, as far as social media likability is concerned. I am not young, only restless. A Kajal is not going to change my vision, neither will a perfect red lipstick give more power to my words. Seven ways to wear a white shirt is not my agenda, I want more women alive – I want them to be alive within. With this simple conviction I started blogging about real women and their stories.

There is so much heart, soul and research that goes into every blog post. I had to extend this vision forward, writing was not enough, I needed to get at the grass root level and dig for hope like a scavenger.

I went to Kamathipura and found a story about virgins (victims of the Devdasi culture) being sold and fed cow steroids to make them more desirable. I personally went through lot of internal conflict before putting it on the blog, considering it was risky. But if my stories don’t make you think, then what is the point of this tremendous reach. The story was also published Youth Ki Awaaz and soon because of that, the traffic on my website was uncontrollable. Within a fraction of 3-5 hours I had received threats from across India for being politically involved, being a feminist and having religious preferences.

The story about Kamathipura has an important lesson which should be shared – hiding from reality does not make it disappear. Sad, how some people refuse to see the bigger picture and continue to think mediocre. Faceless trolls usually attack you in groups and contribute to online negativity.

There are things no one tells you about going viral and one of them is that it can leave you feeling completely exposed and vulnerable. Online hate made me stubborn about a lot of things in life, I refuse to alter my vision for social media acceptability.

I recently attended the #NoPlace4Hate event organised by YKA in collaboration with Facebook in Mumbai. With so many women openly expressing their views online, we definitely need some kind of mechanism and sensitisation on how to deal with online hate. The panelists shared great insights about their personal experience with trolls.

I am a futurist I believe the future belongs to women and I will continue to fight through words. The fire within has to be channelised to drive change, don’t reduce yourself to what is expected from you.

You can check out Pooja’s blog and Facebook page here and here.

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