The pandemic has spread its tentacles into just about every area of life at this point, forcing us to change our behaviours significantly. This has led to a sharp increase in digital activity.

According to a survey conducted by Hammerkopfduring the lockdown period alone, over 87 per cent Indians turned to social media for all sorts of content consumption. This, cyber experts say, has led to an alarming surge in cyber-crimes. Sexual harassment, abuse, stalking, trolling and rape threats are on the rise as miscreants take advantage of the new-found dependence on the virtual world.

Traditionally, men and women are taught to simply ‘ignore it’, making many of us resign to it, to think that this is all that one can do. This attitude has, however, caused a lot of mental harm and keeping silent is simply not a viable solution anymore. Today, these are crimes punishable by the law.

Photo courtesy Malini Agarwal

Why #IgnoreNoMore

India figures among the top five countries affected by cybercrime. Though Central and state agencies are constantly at work, the vulnerabilities are more pronounced, the threat more real.

But we’ve had enough because the mental and emotional toll cyber bullying and harassment has taken on all of us is unreal. We are increasingly moving to virtual lives and we need to ensure we feel safe and happy there. So, it is up to us to take out the trash.

We can put an end to this  if we come together and say enough is enough and report these creeps.

How do you file a complaint?

List all the people who you would like to report. Then, gather their virtual information to collect evidence for quick action against culprits. Later, mention URLs, user names, attached screenshots of offensive material/posts/comments/DMs and e-mail them to the police, for instance, to Mumbai Police if you’re in Mumbai (For Mumbai email: cyberpst-m[email protected] and cc [email protected]. Visit https://cybercrime.gov.in for more information and other city email IDs)

Report and track. 

Once your complaint is submitted, you will receive a confirmation message in the portal itself. In case, you have filed a complaint through the “Report and Track” or the “Report Other Cybercrime” section available on the portal, you will receive a SMS and an e-mail with a complaint reference number on your registered mobile number and e-mail id.

What are cyber crimes?

Eight out of 10 Indians have faced online harassment. Online sexual harassment encompasses a wide range of sexual misconduct on digital platforms. These include some of the more specific forms of online harassment including ‘revenge porn’ and ‘cyberstalking.’ It often manifests as hateful speech or online threats.

What else constitutes cybercrime?

  • Non-consensual sharing of intimate images and videos.
  • Exploitation, coercion, and threats.
  • Sexualised bullying
  • Unwanted sexualisation
  • All forms of unwelcome sexual requests, comments and content.

People posting lewd comments on social media are liable under Section 354A of the IPC

to be punished with one-year imprisonment and fine. In addition, posting/messaging content related to pornography against the will of a woman or requesting sexual favours are punishable by a fine along with three years of imprisonment under the same provision.

It is time to put an end to it. Let’s join hands, take out the trash and spread internet positivity in society.

Author(s)

  • Malini Agarwal

    Founder and Creative Director

    MissMalini Entertainment

    Malini Agarwal a.k.a MissMalini is the Founder & Creative Director of MissMalini Entertainment, a leading media lifestyle brand that creates highly engaging, multi-platform content geared towards India's Internet Generation.

    Malini is India's first and most famous Digital Influencer, having pioneered Indian lifestyle blogging with her website MissMalini.com in 2008. Today MissMalini Entertainment content reaches 30 million people a month every across their owned channels, with over 10 million direct social media followers.

    A regular speaker at CMO forums on digital brand building, Malini was featured in the ET Women Ahead Listing of 2018 by The Economic Times and awarded the Women Super Achiever Award at Femina’s 5th World Women Leadership Congress & Awards. Ranked #1 on IMPACT's 50 Most Influential Women in Media, Marketing and Advertising 2017, she was also recognized among business leaders to watch in Fortune India’s 40 Under 40 List as well as GQ’s 50 Most Influential Young Indians List and World Marketing Congress’s 50 Most Influential Digital Marketing Leaders Listing in 2017. She was also featured as one of the Top 10 Young Business Women of 2016 by CNBC-TV18 at the Young Turks Summit, and declared as the #1 Digital Influencer in the world on SERMO's Digital Influencer Index 2016. Malini is a regular industry panelist and moderator, she was the keynote speaker at the Babson College Indian Symposium, and at Ficci Flow chapters of Amritsar, Jaipur, Kolkata, and Ahmedabad.

    Within a few years of blogging, The Huffington Post and Forbes named Malini as India’s most famous Digital Influencer, and since then Malini has been profiled by various international media outlets including BBC World (UK), Reuters, CNN (USA), DW (Germany), TV5 (France) and The Globe & Mail (Canada), and is a regular fixture in local publications such as Vogue India, Elle India, Grazia India, Hello! India, India Today, The Economic Times, Business Standard, NDTV Profit, and on CNBC's Young Turks as a fast-growing media start-up to watch.

    Malini released her first book, To the Moon: How I Blogged My Way To Bollywood with reputed publishing house HarperCollins in January 2018, which peaked at #3 Non-Fiction (and #8 overall) on the India Top 10 Bestseller List.

    Malini’s passion and efforts are now spent using her reach and influencer to launch social initiatives that facilitate cultural change. Most prominent of these is her invite-only & Facebook group exclusively for women called ‘Malini’s Girl Tribe’, a supportive community of 25,000 women, as well as her Positive Masculinity community, a co-ed group for all to discuss the way towards a more socially progressive and world. By creating safe spaces for women, a myriad of topics and modern issues are discussed openly every day. Women are able to support each other, help each other, and have meaningful connections every day. The Girl Tribe also gave rise to a web-series featuring such distinguished guests as Rega Jha, Adhuna Bhabani, Mallika Dua, Sonali Bendre Behl, Anjali Lama, Trisha Shetty, and Dia Mirza, covering topics ranging from oppressive beauty standards and gender expectations to raising compassionate children, fighting sexual abuse, and more.