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Women and child development minister Maneka Gandhi, has asked all women who were trolled or harassed online to inform her and share their experiences.
Maneka Gandhi has directed the National commission for women (NCW) to monitor instances where women are harassed online. She shared her email ID email@example.com in a tweet for women to reach out to her in case they are targeted.
Maneka Gandhi’s tweet was in response, to the recent trolling incident that had taken place targeting Sona Mohapatra. She was targeted by Salman Khan’s fans for using social media to voice out her opinion against the recent Salman Khan’s rape comment. “There is too much filth online. I have asked the NCW to put a person in charge of tracking such trolls.” said Maneka Gandhi.
Think of it, why are women so easily targeted? According to a research by Pew, age and gender were one of the prominent factors that decided whether a person was harassed or not. If you are a female below the age of 30, they are higher chances of you being harassed.
Men experience online trolling too, but the nature of trolling may be different. Women are trolled because they are ‘women’. Chauvinistic individuals would love to exert their power and show dominance by belittling the woman. This can easily be done through trolls online.
Another possible reason could be that many of these incidents are not reported. The harassment is generally overlooked as women feel that there is a way out of the problem, if they stop being active online. Very often the online haters, escape without being taken to task as the cases go unreported. A lack of awareness on online harassment is another contributing factor. The various forms of harassment are unwanted contact,trolling, cyber bullying, sexual harassment, stalking, rape and death threats.
Female celebrities are hot targets. Recently, Soha Ali Khan was trolled for tweeting on RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan’s exit, then came Sona Mohapatra who was threatened by Salman Khan’s fans and even Barkha Dutt received slut shamming comments on twitter. It seems like women are being deterred from expressing their opinions.
Maneka Gandhi’s step to reach out to women harassed online, comes as a big relief, looking at the number of trolling incidents that have taken place in the recent past. I am sure online sites like Twitter would also work towards curbing the vicious cycle of comments that only seems to be increasing with time. And as users of twitter and other social media sites we need to explore our options to eliminate hateful comments.
Image Source – Wikimedia Commons
Diana has worked as an Editor/Writer and Content Manager for various digital platforms and
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