Trolling as a Disruptive Tool for Human Rights Violations: An Exploration of the Challenges Faced by Performance Artists

Vibha Sharma, Fatema Sultana, Sohaib Alam, Sameena Banu


The proliferation of online platforms and digital tools has introduced both opportunities and challenges for individuals, particularly within the realm of social media. While platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, etc. have served as avenues for cultural, social, economic, educational, state-run, and political discourse, they have also facilitated the emergence of paranoiac phenomena, such as trolling. This paper delves into the portrayal of trolling as a disruptive technological tool and cultural phenomenon in Bangladesh, specifically targeting TV actors, theatre performers, and local rural artists. The study highlights the pervasive use of trolling as a means to harass, criticize, and intimidate artists online. It reveals how trolling not only violates the human rights of these artists but also undermines their creativity, credibility, and sense of belonging within society. For methodological justification, it has employed a mixed-method research approach incorporating questionnaire surveys administered to 38 participants, interviews with two aspiring artists, three theatre artists, and three students studying theatre and performance studies, and analysis of social media comments. The paper unravelled that trolling is used exclusively as an online harassment tool to embarrass performance artists in Bangladesh. It underscores the detrimental impact of trolling, leading to psychological distress, depression, and alienation among targeted artists. In response to these challenges, the paper offers recommendations aimed at empowering artists to confront and combat online harassment, thereby safeguarding their well-being and fostering a more supportive digital environment conducive to artistic expression and innovation.

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World Journal of English Language
ISSN 1925-0703(Print)  ISSN 1925-0711(Online)

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