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

Noam Chomsky, top scholars ask NRIs to take stand on human rights violations in India

Counterview Desk
Renowned world scholars, including Noam Chomsky, James Petras, Angela Davis, Fredric Jameson, Bruno Latour, Ilan Pappe, Judith Butler, among others, have issued a statement castigating the Narendra Modi government for allegedly creating an environment of fear through arrests, intimidation and violence.

Actionable programme for 2019 polls amidst lynch mobs, caste violence, hate mongering

Counterview Desk
Reclaiming the Republic, a civil rights network, has released a document prepared under the chairmanship of Justice AP Shah (retired) -- and backed, among others, by Supreme Court advocate Prashant Bhushan, bureaucrat-turned-human rights activist Harsh Mander, economist Prabhat Patnaik, Right to transparency activist Anjali Bhardwaj and social scientist Yogendra Yadav  (click HERE for full list) -- with the "aim" of putting forth policy and legislative reforms needed to “protect” and “strengthen” the Constitutional safeguards for India’s democratic polity.

India under Modi "promoted" crony business, protected financial fraudsters, fueled bigotry

By Sandeep* and Rahul Pandey**
Narendra Modi's ascension to power was accompanied with jubilation and expectation. His supporters were expecting an end to era of corruption and initiation of good governance which was described as Achche Din. His party's adherence to idea of nationalism was believed to make India a vibrant country and guide India to be a world leader. He gave the slogan of 'Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas' conveying that his government was for all.
Corruption The government system is infested with corruption. A minimum of 10% is siphoned off from government schemes and projects, some of which goes back to political party in power and remaining is pocketed by various administrative, executive and political functionaries. This corruption continues and has increased. Now an additional Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) person working as Official on Special Duty or some equivalent position in every government department also has a share in this booty.
The Narendra M…

Call to support IIM-Bangalore professor, censured for seeking action against Uniliver

Counterview Desk
Sections of the Indian Institute of Managements (IIMs) across India have strongly reacted to the decision to censure Dr Deepak Malghan, a faulty at IIM-Bangalore. Prabhir Vishnu Poruthiyil, who is faculty at IIM-Tiruchirapalli, has sought wider solidarity with Dr Malghan, saying, "The administration has censured Deepak for merely suggesting a meaningful action against Hindustan Unilever for their abysmal environmental record" by “disinviting” it for campus placement.

Inviting Rajapaksa to India "insult" to 1,40,000 Tamils killed by Sri Lankan army

Counterview Desk
In the context of Sri Lankan opposition leader Mahinda Rajapaksa being invited in India, about 75 human rights activists*, claiming to be concerned about rights violations during the civil war in Sri Lanka, especially in 2009, have joined together to express their dissent through a statement.

Modi wants Pak govt be held responsible for JeM terror strike: World doesn't agree

By Sandeep Pandey*
I went to participate in a candle light homage paying event at Dr BR Ambedkar's statue organised by about 200 Dalit students on Hazratganj main crossing in Lucknow on February 16, 2019 evening, two days after the dastardly terrorist act in Pulwana, Jammu and Kashmir (J&K), in which 44 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel was killed.

Post-advisory, Govt of India appears reluctant to ban e-cigarettes, "harmful" to kids

By Rajiv Shah
Is the Government of India dilly-dallying over the issue of banning e-cigarettes, which have been declared by anti-tobacco activists across the world as providing “an entryway to nicotine addiction”, especially among the kids? It would seem so, if the latest developments are any guide.

A Godse legacy? BJP rulers have "refrained" from calling Gandhi Father of the Nation

By Dr Hari Desai*
What an agony! On one hand, the entire India is celebrating the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, but on the other side, so-called Hindu Mahasabha members have been found mock-enacting the killing of the Mahatma and celebrating the murder by distributing sweets!

No aadhaar, no ration? Hard blow by Gujarat govt on poor and marginalized

By Pankti Jog*
Only those who have aadhaar registration and linked it with ration card will get ration from a Public Distribution System (PDS) shop. This decision of the Gujarat government has hit very badly thousands of poor and marginalized communities of Gujarat, especially during the drought year.

World Bank needs a new perspective on development, not just a new president

By Maju Varghese*
The resignation of the World Bank President Jim Yong Kim was an unexpected development given the fact that he had three more years to complete his tenure. Resignations at such a high level after bidding for a second term is unusual which prompts people to think what would have led to the act itself.