HYDERABAD: Freedom has its limitations, even on social media. The use of profane language to shame those with differing viewpoints is on the rise, and the police are watching online interactions with a hawk eye. Though cyberbullying is not new, the menace has become acute in the wake of the recent rape and murder of Disha in Shamshabad near here.
Certain netizens have been using derogatory and obscene language to react to those who have expressed what they think the state should do with the perpetrators of the crime.
The trolls aren’t even sparing women journalists and rights activists.
Satyavathi Kondaveeti, a rights activist, posted screengrabs of a Facebook post in which one Mantri Ravinder targeted a women’s rights activist who opposed the death penalty and said, “What is she thinking? Something like Disha incident should happen to her or her family members.”
Following this, a group of activists complained to the Hyderabad cyber crime police, saying they feared social media was becoming an “unsafe” space for women and people in general.
There have also been instances of victim shaming. “Victim shaming is the blatant and arrogant display of patriarchy at its best. When one feels someone deserves to be treated in a certain way or deserves to be raped or murdered, it shows that they are reducing human beings to objects. When people say things that spark public outrage but no action is taken against them, they think they can get away with saying anything,” said Suma Lavanya, a psychology scholar at the University of Hyderabad.
When asked why victim shaming has become rampant of late, Joint Commissioner of Police (Detective Department) Avinash Mohanty said, “Perhaps because social media gives people the scope to remain anonymous and encourages them to make whatever comments they feel like. It’s very unlikely for them to say such things in person.”
The Cybercrime wing of the Cyberabad police has registered a case against social media user Ramesh Kumar, who allegedly posted derogatory comments against Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao and former Nizamabad MP K Kavitha on Facebook.
Ramesh, in his post, questioned why the chief minister had not responded to the incident and made some objectionable comments.
A woman approached the Cybercrime police seeking action against a person who posted comments against her. The Rachakonda police have registered a case against a person for posting abusive comments on social media against Disha, and have sent a team to AP to apprehend him.