“Your freedom ends where my nose begins” – a phrase we all need to understand and apply in our lives. Often people mistake social media trolling as being synonymous with freedom of expression. That is nothing but wrong. Anyone with an open-to-public social media profile is subject to trolling and cyberbullying and we see celebrities getting the worst form of it. Sheheryar Munawar was a guest on Vasay Chaudhry’s show ‘Ghabrana Mana Hai’ yesterday and brought up some valid points on the topic of trolling and cyberbullying.
After a fun introduction and the send-a-message bit on the show, Vasay asked Sheheryar what he thinks is the importance of social media to which the actor replied, “I honestly think it’s a place where people come and they feel that they’re hidden behind a screen, so they can say absolutely anything. So I think that’s what social media is being used for right now.”
Following Sheheryar’s reply which was filled with disappointment, Vasay asked him about his views on trolling. Sheheryar seemed very passionate about the subject, especially since earlier in the show he shared how he refrains from talking on popular subjects like religion, politics, and sexual orientation. He said that he thinks it’s terrible. “It’s honestly terrible because you don’t know the effect your words have on the other person.” He added that every day we hear news of something or the other being banned, like the game PUBG being banned because people were committing suicide, but we still haven’t labeled bullying and harassment shameful crimes. “I honestly feel that the implications are worse because you can’t see them.”
Sheheryar praised the Pakistani governments cyberbullying department saying they helped him well when his Instagram account got hacked and the department returned the account within 24 hours. But then he also expressed how despite there being this department, we haven’t treated cyberbullying as a crime and that we need to take steps towards that agenda.
Various other artists have been subject to cyberbullying and trolling. Followers feel like since they are behind a screen and their real identity is often hidden, they can say and comment whatever they want to without considering the impact of their words. Shehehryar Munawar and other celebrities like Iqra Aziz have been vocal about their views on cyberbullying and have used their massive outreach to try to bring about a change in this social media trend amongst followers.