A new global study has revealed that online platforms including Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are driving girls to quit social media due to the continuous abuse and harassment. Nearly 60 per cent of the girls are threatened with physical or sexual violence, according to the new study.
The concept of virtual networking has enhanced the use of social media in girls of age between 14-22. Most of them spend about 5-6 hours on their mobile phones and it varies according to their purpose and mode. But the abuse through fake accounts was further increased during this lockdown period and it has severely dwindled the use of social media among young women.
Tashya, an aspiring model from Kerala, now 25, said: I have received explicit messages from young boys who are hardly twelve years old. This itself shows how important it is for us to teach them to be respectful in public platforms.
The importance of sex education needs to be deeply construed among young children for getting acquainted with the normal process of life and living. These virulent abuses have severely taken a toll on the mental health of these young women which has driven many of them to quit their social media profiles. Most of the men try to imitate others' behaviour which they feel themselves to be more manly and that abusive words display masculinity and virility.
Sharing her words, a student from Pondicherry often deletes her account and resume creating a new one after weeks just to ignore these maltreats. This plight is no different for the working woman, Jaya, a customer care assistant, from Delhi. She explained how she has been abused by middle-age men on Facebook and how they try calling regularly at nights asking her to send nudes. Blocking such accounts is not always possible because the numbers are enormous and keeping myself safe on these texting apps is critical in this technology-driven era, she sighed.
Young women from worldwide are now demanding immediate actions from social media companies because the reporting tools against these abuses are inutile, especially on Facebook and Instagram. It is high time to ponder about these abuses and why girls are forced to quit a virtual platform for their own safety. Instead, these apps should have an even more effective tool to warn these men from misusing the apps. Now it is the responsibility of digital platforms to secure and protect their users, especially the women in no time.