Millions of fans of Bollywood stars communicate with them through social media. Obviously, it must be tough for the stars to respond to each of their fans and social media commentators and trolls. Some of the comments on their social media time-lines can be downright nasty, abusive, demeaning and derogatory while others can be unabashed admissions and expressions of love, adoration, and adulation, full of sycophantic praise, symptomatic of crazy infatuation and idolatry. Somewhere, between these extremes there can be some sensible, genuine, and meaningful attempts to connect with their favorite stars and learn about their real persona.
RITEISH DESHMUKH and HUMA QURESHI AT MICROSOFT'S SOCIAL MEDIA WEEK EVENT
So, how do Bollywood stars deal with this mind-boggling logjam of ideas, opinions, and diatribe of social media trolls, and fans? Well-known Bollywood stars Riteish Deshmukh and Huma Qureshi dared to bare their social media behaviour and attitude at the Social Media Week (SMW) that concluded yesterday at a Mumbai suburban hotel. The meet attracted social media professional from across India. The participants included digital marketing managers, community managers, content creators, and apps developers who were imparted ‘gyan’ by the who’s who of the social media industry that has seen unprecedented growth in the past few years.
While talking to the delegates Riteish said that he used social media to check out on latest news and trends and reactions of people to his work. He also put forth his point of view. He would not block a troll generally and had learnt to ignore unpalatable comments and used his own way of filtering them. He does not engage with nasty trolls. He also gets angry sometimes. He said that nearly 80% of the comments were basic questions about his films and life. He does not actually care much for the followers with fake social media IDs. He may respond to a well-meaning or funny message or tweet coming from a real ID.
Huma deals with derogatory comments differently. She blocks the obnoxious trolls. All kinds of stuff come her way on social media from indecent jokes to morphed pictures. There are people who talk about anything and any part of human anatomy. She laughs off or ignores such comments and even blocks some of them.
(Rajesh Kumar Singh is Editorial Consultant for Festivals and Markets for BollywoodTrade.com. He is a filmmaker, critic and market analyst)