While technological advances may have made our world better, its greatest innovation ‘internet’ has made the world smaller. But as the internet permeates every sphere of our lives, so do its evils. The impact can be ravaging at times, as was seen, in the events leading up to a communal riot in the otherwise sleepy district of Odisha, Bhadrak. Some offensive posts against Hindu deities by few Muslim youths spread fast and wide through the internet, raising protests from sections of fanatic Hindus and creating situation of communal tension.
Occasional situations like this, notwithstanding, we are increasingly witnessing higher rates of cyber crime over the years, with worrying statistics that suggest women as the most vulnerable targets. Odisha was startled at the case of social activist Linkan Subudhi’s lodging a complaint with the police when her photo was found uploaded on an escort service site. The post contained abusive content defaming her dignity.
The number of such crimes reported every year is on the rise indicating how criminals have adopted cyber space as an easy ground to take revenge against the targeted woman by blackmailing her or outraging her dignity through various online mediums.
Picture Courtesy: E-mpower
But this is not a lone case of such crimes. Five college going girls had registered their complaints alleging that their profile pictures from their social media pages had been uploaded on a site displaying pornographic content. The case is still under investigation.
One of the victims of this case, on condition of anonymity tells MCL, “We’ve always been careful while using social networking sites and make sure that we use the safety measures to protect our photos and content. But still we could not escape such crimes on the internet. The fun world of social media suddenly turned into a nightmare for us when we came to know that some of our pictures have been uploaded on a pornography website. The photos uploaded were taken from a popular social media website. This has become a matter of embarrassment and humiliation for my family and me.”
Similarly, social activist and founder of Seva Prayas Foundation, Linkan expressed her horror while talking to My City Links about the incident. She said, “I am definitely stunned at what has happened but I am also concerned about how this menace has been growing to threaten our entire system and society where these anti-social elements can easily mar a woman’s dignity publicly. I couldn’t believe it when some my friends in the media told me that my photo has been uploaded in a porn site. I could only believe the news when I visited the site myself. This instance is even more worrying as this is a clear breach of security and intrusion of privacy of women on the internet.
An air hostess based in Bhubaneswar, Priyanka Mishra expresses her concern about the issue saying, “When work takes us far away from family and friends, social media is a great way to stay connected to them. It is true that we have to take all safety measures to protect the information we share on our page, but the profile pictures are always public and accessible, not private. So it becomes easy for offenders to misuse these pictures without the owner’s knowledge. This is a sensitive matter and is turning serious with every passing day. Strict regulations need to be in place to tackle such issues.”
Feature Image Courtesy: The Satish Kakri Consultants Blog Site