In Focus 10th August, 2016

When bullying transcends online.

A few years ago while I was still in college, an array of pages started flooding my Facebook news feed. These were the popular anonymous school pages – where people posted secrets / information/ confessions etc about their classmates. And others commented on them. Seems like an idea out of the popular tv show – gossip girl. Well I have not seen the tv series myself, but as my friends suggested, I  believed- this is where the idea of such a page mushroomed from. But soon with the posts I read on my newsfeed I realised, what they were insinuating. Another form of online bullying. So and so girl sucked my cock behind the chapel, so and so girl is a slut- I love how this term is used like a second name for any girl who another person doesn’t like. And this was a page opened/ handled by /for school kids.

A few months later it was reported against and shut down. Some ex students reacted to such filth and Facebook took its own course. But this is just one little portion of the dreary world of online emotional violence which happens.

Twitter is even worse. People don’t think twice before sitting behind a screen and writing obscenities which they would otherwise never ever have the guts to say out in person. For instance I come from an organisation where one of the most revered journalist is called a presstitute, is hurled obscenities at on regular intervals by those who do not agree with her point of views.

The same people do not even dare to look at her in public, let alone say anything to her.

Does this ring a bell ? Does this highlight something about the behaviour of a bully ?

People ridden with Insecurities, who love to strike from a place of safety. These people’s security lies in a screen.

A male journalists behaviour is never validated on the Internet beyond a point, and I am not saying that it should be, but a spade should be called a spade.

The flak which Bhupendra Chaubey got for his misogynistic behaviour towards Sunny Leone was half as much Barkha gets on a regular basis for anything or everything. And I wonder why ?

Let me put this out for you clearly – women are not weak targets, they are popular targets. It is easier to point fingers on a gender which has been blamed universally for everything down the ages.

We are not very aware of the cyber space. It’s a vague cloud hanging on our heads and I am not talking about blatant abuse on social media, but the fear around internet which some people create amongst women. You break up with me your nude video goes online.That’s a form of bullying too, sometimes that video does go on the Internet, and the social fabric only comes weighing down on the victim.

Baby you vry sexy. Fraindship? Must be a filtered message you would have come across at least once in your life on your social media handle. The problem with us is we ignore such a message, and perhaps laugh about it. But unless we start complaining about such a message which most of us get every day, no action would be taken, no awareness would be created and no strict cyber laws for online bullying in the second most populated country of the world would come by.

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