A national movement against cyber bullying, named ‘Stop Online Mobs’ was organised at Jantar Mantar on July 30, 2017 at 3 PM. It aimed at emphasising and condemning cyber bullying – specifically in the form of death threats, rape threats and physical violence instigated on the internet, directed at common people, mostly women.
The movement focused on the present scenario of cyber bullying and aimed to spread social awareness about the issue and the laws that protect the rights of people online. This initiative was led by Nitin Jose, a final year journalism student at the Madhu Bala Institute Of Communication And Electronic Media, which is affiliated to the Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University. More than 70 attendees witnessed a combination of dance, theatrical performances, poetry, songs and intellectual speeches by the panellists.
“The internet has become a part and parcel of our life and its regulation is necessary to ensure the well being of the users. Students in large numbers are becoming a victim of cyber bullying but fail to file a complaint or take a major stand against the same. Widely spreading information about the laws related to cyber bullying should be ensured so that people can use the law for their safety and dignity. We will form a trust which will serve as a platform for students who face cyber bullying but are unable to address it,” said Sarvesh Kumar Tiwari, secretary of Nirbhaya Trust and managing director of PR Professionals.
The panel of speakers had Sarvesh Kumar Tiwari, secretary of Nirbhaya Trust, Raj Kumar Tiwari, India’s lone special Olympic gold medallist ice-staker, Tripti Oberai, a renowned psychologist, Trevor Jayaraj, recipient of the Rotary Leadership award and Kawalpreet Kaur, president of All India Students’ Association (Delhi University).
The #StopOnlineMobs initiative was started on social media by the students. With their efforts, it even became a national trend on Twitter. Thousands of people joined by tweeting and re-tweeting about the movement.
The movement took its shape when a student of Lady Shri Ram College, Simran Keshwani, presented her views on social media and started receiving rape threats and vulgar comments for this. She is only one among the numerous victims of cyber bullying.
The core team was led by Nitin Jose, who has an active social media presence and is an impactful public speaker as well as a youth trainer. As responsible citizens and active members of the core team, Pulkita Agarwal, Prateek, Joel Sakhi, Saneya Siddique, Aishwarya Nair, Udit Malik and Hiren Gokhani all made their contributions to make this movement successful.
“Cyber bullying has become rampant on the internet – which is an open medium for communication as well as a weapon. The use depends on the user and misuse is bound to be made accountable by the law! Therefore, we decided to blend the art and culture of India to condemn cyber bullying via this gathering of students,” said spokesperson and organiser, Nitin Jose.
According to Intel Security’s “Teens, Tweens and Technology Study 2015”, 81% of Indian respondents between eight and 16 were active on the social media networks. Of these, 22% had reported being bullied online – the highest count in the four countries surveyed (Australia, the US and Singapore being the other three). However, the issue doesn’t end here. As many as 52% of Indian children indicated that they had bullied people over the social media. Again, this was the highest among the four countries surveyed. A whopping 65% of the respondents reported that they had witnessed cruel behaviour online.
Along with the panellists, people from the audience also came up and expressed their views and experiences of cyber bullying. Tripti Oberai, a psychologist, passionately spoke of the need to curb cyber bullying and the present scenario. “Cyber bullying scars the victim, psychologically, to such an extent that suicidal tendencies and depression can become a prevalent part of their personalities,” said Tripti.
The citizens of India need to realise that the implications of cyber bullying, and be aware of the help that one can avail of, in case of a cyber attack. After all, a few words and a click can ruin a life!