NCRB data shows that every 6th cybercrime in India is committed through social media. Online harassment has become a common occurrence on social media and women often find themselves on the receiving end. The time is to make online spaces safe for women and #BreakTheBias.
The issue of online violence against women needs a systemic inquiry. Studies & data exist in bits & pieces giving no idea of how deeply entrenched this problem is. We need to study more audiences & their social media behaviour to create interventions that can make social media safe.
We also need to document and share the experiences of women who undergo such unfortunate events of hate and abuse. Such experience sharing can help amplify the message of safe social media use and standing up against such behaviour for our fellow women users.
Growing social media toxicity also needs an adequate response from regulatory authorities. Different stakeholders governing social media need to respect the experience that women users go through & make efforts that prevent such instances & protect the rights of women users.
Women’s representation on social media is another issue to be addressed. This gap is even worse in rural areas. It is important to bridge this gap to expand means of communication, social interactions, and opportunities for socio-political mobilization & effective participation.
Lastly, we need to make sure that social media companies are not left free. Laws and systems need to make them responsible for the kind of content that violates the right to privacy and dignity of women users on social media platforms. We need to stand against online violence!
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