Skip to main content

Online abuse "affects" 50% plus Indian women using social media, 36% don't respond due to "lack of support"

By Our Representative
A new research report, “Cyber Violence Against Women In India”, has said that online abuse is a serious issue in India, claiming to affect more than half of the country's women using online platforms. It regrets, however, “Women and other targets lack support and understanding to respond effectively.” The report is based on a survey of 500 women and separate interviews with 10 of them.
The report's findings say, “Thirty-six per cent of respondents who had experienced harassment online took no action at all”, adding, “Twenty-eight per cent reported that they had intentionally reduced their online presence after suffering online abuse.”
The report further says, some respondents “found it hard to think of online harassment on par with violence, even though 30 per cent of those who had experienced it found it 'extremely upsetting' and 15 per cent reported that it lead to mental health issues like depression, stress, and insomnia.”
The research report comments, “Though avid users of social media, respondents lose trust in popular platforms because of harassment against them or someone they know. Over half want stricter community standards for content, and the ability to escalate reports of abuse.”
According to the report, “Mechanisms to report abuse on social media platforms fall short. Victims are more likely to block abuse than to report it”, adding, “Yet blocking is ineffective against organized, sustained campaigns using multiple accounts.”
The report says, “Assailants readily exploit mechanisms to report abuse, alleging their victims have violated platform guidelines to disable their accounts, adding, “Thirty percent of survey respondents said they were not aware of laws to protect them from online harassment.”
It points out, “Only a third of respondents had reported harassment to law enforcement; among them, 38 percent characterized the response as 'not at all helpful'.”
This research, which is part of Freedom House‘s Hyperlinkers project, seeks to amplify the voices of marginalized communities in global digital rights discussions. Freedom House is an independent, non-partisan watchdog organisation, dedicated to the expansion of freedom and democracy around the world.\A part of this research has also been published in the Freedom on the Net 2016 India report by Freedom House.
The research says, the report has been published at a time when, in India, as elsewhere in the world, “online harassment of women and marginalized genders and sexualities has become rampant, in contrast to Internet’s initial premise of equal opportunity and neutrality.”
“What we have today is a flawed internet that reflects the offline world we live in, where women and marginalized communities are abused, harassed, threatened, stalked and violated on a daily basis”, it points out, adding, “This research report aims to analyse the unique threats that women and marginalized sections in India face online and how Indian laws affect these problems.”
Commenting on the research methodology, it says, “The report uses both qualitative and quantitative research, including analysis of media reports involving online harassment of high profile women.” It bases its findings on “a survey of 500 social media users and interviews with ten of the respondents.”
The majority of survey respondents are women under 35, living in major cities, and educated to college level or above.
---
Download report HERE

Comments

TRENDING

It's now official: Developed Gujarat's regular, casual workers earn less than 19 top states

By Rajiv Shah
Though not as low as state chief minister Vijay Rupani claims it to be (0.9%), Gujarat’s unemployment rate, at least as reflected in a recent report released by the Government of India, is 4.8%, lower than the national average, 6%. Yet, ironically, the same report, released soon after the Lok Sabha polls came to an end in May 2019, brings to light an even grimmer reality: Lower wages in "model" and "developed" Gujarat compared to virtually the whole of India, including the so-called Bimaru states.

Amaravati: World Bank refusing to share public grievances on Land Pooling Scheme

By Our Representative
A new report, prepared by the advocacy group Centre for Financial Accountability (CFA), New Delhi, has taken strong exception to the World Bank refusing to share its independent assessment of the Land Pooling Scheme (LPS), floated by the Andhra Pradesh government in order to build the new capital.

Why crib? 4.5% is far better than pre-1980 'Hindu rate of growth': Subramanian replies

By Rajiv Shah
Even as sticking to his original argument that India's gross domestic product (GDP) since 2011-12 has been overestimated by 2.5%, renowned economist Arvind Subramanian has said in a fresh paper that his estimate of post-2011-12 growth rate at around 4.5% is surely not "implausibly low", as some of his critics have been arguing following his controversial June paper.

UP's Sonbhadra killing of 10 tribals highlights 'failure' to implement Forest Rights Act

Counterview Desk
On July 17, as many as 10 people, including three women, were killed and 28 injured when a village head and his supporters opened fire on a group of tribal farmers in Ubha village of Sonbhadra district in Uttar Pradesh. While the firing took place following a clash between over a land ownership dispute, it reportedly highlights failure of officials enforce Forest Rights Acts (FRA) and Survey Settlement in favour of tribals.

Govt of India 'lying': MGNREGA budget reduced by Rs 1,084 crore in 2019-20

Counterview Desk
NREGA Sangharsh Morcha, a well-known advocacy group for the rural jobs guarantee scheme, under implementation since 2005, has said that the statement by the Rural Development Minister has a made a mockery of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) on the floor of Parliament, revealing the ruling BJP’s “anti-worker and anti-poor bias”.

22,000 children risking lives in India's 'illegal' mica mines, 10-20 die each month

By Rajiv Shah
An investigation by a high-profile e-journal run by a top American digital media and entertainment company focused on young women, Refinery 29 (R29), which based in the Financial District, Manhattan neighbourhood of New York City, has raised the alarm that 9,000 miles away, nearly 22,000 children are risking their lives while working for a paltry sum of Rs 20 to 30 per day in mica mines of Jharkhand and Bihar.

Govt of India seeks to 'subvert' autonomy of adjudicating authorities: RTI amendment

Counterview Desk
India's independent Right to Information watchdog, The National Campaign for Peoples’ Right to Information (NCPRI), in a statement, has said that the Government of India’s proposed amendments to the RTI Act to empower the Centre to unilaterally decide the tenure, salary, allowances and other terms of service of Information Commissioners at the Centre and States “seriously undermine” the law.

None of India's ministries, departments have mining children on the radar: MPs told

By Our Representative
A delegation of two civil rights groups, Samata and mines, minerals and People (mm&P), has impressed upon several of India's members of Parliament (MPs) to discuss and raise issues relating to illegal mining, the Samata judgment, children in the mining areas and the District Mineral Foundation (DMF) in Parliament, adding, the issue of involvement of gram sabhas in decision making ought to be central for allowing any new projects in forest areas.

Demand to withdraw sedition charge against 30,000 unnamed Adivasis, activists

Counterview Desk
Every 10th Adivasi of Jharkhand’s Pathalgadi area is charged with sedition, Jharkhand Janadhikar Mahasabha (JMM), a network of activists and people’s organisations, which organised a protest in Ranchi in front of the Governor's house, has said. In a statement following the protest on Monday, JMM has called for larger support to stand up against violations of Constitutional rights of Adivasis and use of sedition law as tool for repression.

Introduced in Lok Sabha, amendment proposals a 'blow' to RTI's federal scheme

By Venkatesh Nayak*
In less than two months of returning to power, the National Democratic Alliance (NDA-III) government has revived its 2018 proposal to curtail the autonomy of the Information Commissions established under the Right to Information Act, 2005 (RTI Act). A similar attempt was made exactly one year ago but the Bill to assume power to regulate the tenure, salaries and allowances of Information Commissioners across the country was not tabled in Parliament.