Once upon a time, the internet was born.
It was appreciated for its super powers of being able to connect various computers, all together. It was a miracle in the history of technology!
It took the lead in the world of education, entertainment, social connectivity, news, as well as shopping. It became the center of it all.
It grew more wide and high. From one screen to another, the internet became the right hand of computers. But, some people always manage to ruin the best of things. Where internet was about connections, fun, and knowledge, some started to treat it as a weapon to harass others!
As soon as these people started to accelerate their hatred, the internet started to seem like a key to harassment, to all those, sitting behind their screens.
This wrong definition of the internet spread very fast. Bullying, teasing, stalking, shaming and blackmailing became trends!
This corrupted the whole concept of the internet and affected the whole world, like a super fast, deadly virus!
The Internet, itself, started to get afraid.
Even, today it is afraid.
This virus is so deadly, that it breathes under the skin of our screens, each passing day.
Screaming and pleasing, for its identity and soon the voice of its screams were not audible to anyone.
Online harassment is not just harmful but highly dangerous, because, it is unrecognizable.
People have started doubting themselves. It’s lead them to lose belief in themselves.
The pleasure of sharing pictures, videos or thoughts, has been diluted by this fear of being harassed online. Posts have become an online public space for harassment. Social connectivity has been corrupted to a large extent.
Raising our voices is a good idea. But is it valued and supported by anyone?
Instead, when we raise our voices we are blamed for ‘calling upon the trouble’.
People have stopped being sensitive towards each other’s problems and sentiments. There is a lack of empathy towards people who have faced online harassment and abuse and they are left all alone to deal with the issue.
We need to stop being indifferent to what is happening around us. It’s time we take action. We can’t give up on each other or ourselves. It’s high time, for our fairy Godmothers to show up and fix everything. Somebody, some hope, to tell us that, “we need to pioneer the change”.
This is why we have come up with a campaign. The resolve is to at least initiate this process of introspection before our fairy Godmother shows up!
Everybody needs a push and everybody also needs a pull. This campaign is built to do both. This campaign is important to tell everybody, that they are not alone.
We recognize harassment and we will not turn a blind eye towards it. We will take action to stop it.
Understanding of harassment is very important. Harassment is not just sexual. It can be physical, emotional, psychological, financial etc. Due to this lack of understanding, a lot of times people fail to recognize harassment.
No matter who does it, harassment is harassment!
This campaign seeks to create safer spaces online. Let us reclaim the internet to be a safe space where we can connect with people, gain and share knowledge and express ourselves freely. Let us recognize the issue at hand and fight against an attitude which says ‘Online hai toh fine hai’.
Note: This blog post has been written as a part of the campaign ‘Online Hai Toh Fine Hai‘ which is being run by our Breakthrough interns ( Summer internship 2017).