In the last two years, the internet is becoming more like a cesspool online hatred and harassment. This kind of hatred reminds me of the 1950s America when the Red Scare was at its height. The massive hysteria and the outrage that people should towards the alleged communists who infiltrated the American Society created a devastating consequences. People who were alleged communist lost their jobs, were harassed and in worst case, they were ostracized in the society.
Now in the Covid Era, we’re seeing a new kind of Red Scare, which is not only affecting a lot of people but it is hurting the very purpose of the internet i.e. connection to the people from different part of the world. This kind of Red Scare is known as the Outrage Culture. To make it more simple in Indian Context, Outrage Culture is just “Log Kya Kahenge” with steroids. Because it is clear that a person will be afraid of what other people who act like snipers and vultures (by looking at the balcony if you’re going out with your significant other or taking arts instead of science) will say about them but in a more aggressive manner. The internet has become like Gotham in the movie ‘Joker’
Jokes aside, in the last two years outrage cultures is growing at a huge magnitude and it is becoming a problem. People nowadays are outraging over the smallest of things or things that are either harmless or irrelevant. And if they outrage, they clearly have no idea what they are talking about.
In recent times the outrage culture is mixing up with patriotism. People who even makes a critique or criticism of the government are now been called anti-nationals or deshdrohi even though they have no clue that there are laws regarding that like Section 124A of the IPC or how there is a reasonable restriction given to freedom of speech and expression to protect the position of the sovereign under Article 19(2) of the Indian Constitution.
The Pewdiepie vs Tseries feud is one example of the outrage culture meets patriotism. Pewdiepie made few jokes about India and dissed T-Series and this made people made. There were countless people who made disstracks, roasts and countless attacks to Pewdiepie and his fans in the name of patriotism. In reality they wanted to make more money and clout. People like Saiman Says who defended and supported Pewdiepie has received countless death threats and that is all in the name of patriotism.
Another example is Hindustani Bhau, who started off as a meme and he rose to an internet personality. And then he started abusing people and sending death and rape threats in the name of patriotism especially with Ekta Kapoor. He was eventually caught in fire when his apprentice Subham Mishra sent rape threats to Agrima Joshua because she made a joke about Shivaji Maharaj 2–3 years ago and Mishra was arrested by the police for making such threats. Hindustani Bhau was condemned because of his initial support of Mishra.
YouTube vs TikTok is an another example of the outrage culture. Long story short, former Tik Tok stars Amir Siddiqui and Revolver Rani made a response video to one of the YouTubers and the entire YouTube community went on full banshee mode and started attacking Tik Tokers for their responds even though they make hundreds of videos on Tik Tok. When Carryminati’s video was deleted by YouTube, the feud escalated. Things have gone so worse that people have been using homophobic slurs like Chakka, Hijra, Meetha and so on against ex Tik Tok Stars. This not only undermines the progress LGBTQIA+ community but it shows how far people will go to attack someone because two people responded to YouTubers.
In the aftermath of Sushant Singh Rajput’s unfortunate demise TRP mongers, conspiracy theorist and the mob found Rhea Chakraborty who was the deceased girlfriend’s as the scapegoat because they believe she was responsible for the actor’s death. She was subjected to media trails, online harassment and even death and rape threats all in the name of #JusticeForSSR. Both the TV and Social Media has been acting like Judge, Jury and Excecutioner even though we have courts to handle that but they’re to busy outraging on a woman whose only fault was being Sushant’s girlfriend just so they could gain some ratings, money and views
Recently a comedian named Munawar Faruqui was arrested because of his alleged jokes of religious deities, despite of the fact that the police admits that there no evidence regarding the said matter. OTTs have also been called out by the mob because of their alleged attacks on religious sentiments. Amazon Prime series named Tandav is an example of that. And every time I look at Twitter, I see #Boycott insert OTT which is kind of sad. And the mob being angry over everything isn’t helping. If this is not handled soon, it could escalate into something worse like Charlie Hebdo.
Outrage culture has become the new norm in India. As I’ve already said, people who outrage, have no idea what they are talking about. They do not represent the things that they claim to represent like in Subham Mishra’s case where he sent rape threat to Agrima over a joke even though it is quite clear he does not represent Shivaji Maharaj or his principles. This shows how low our tolerance level have become.
The outrage mongering people manipulate the emotions of the people and they make them attack a certain person or community which is damaging physically, mentally and psychologically. If this is not stopped sooner, it will ruin the internet. Thus it is necessary that people should stop giving attention to outrage mongering people because that’s what they mostly want.