TikTok influencer Faizal Siddiqui is under fire for putting up a video that promoted acid attacks on women. After the video went viral and received a lot of criticism, it came under the radar of the National Commission for Women. The NCW has condemned this video and has requested that immediate action is taken against the influencer. Following the outrage, the video has now been removed from the platform. Faizal is an influencer and for him releasing a video that legitimizes a crime is shortsightedness and taking his own popularity irresponsibly. Who will take responsibility if one of his followers decides to act on similar lines?
In the nine-second video that was posted on his account, Faizal is seen saying “Did the man you left me for abandon you?” After which an acid attack is depicted. Faizal has now issued an apology for the video saying, “As a social media influencer, I realize my responsibility and apologize to anyone who was offended by the video.”
@NCWIndia has written to @DGPMaharashtra Shri. Subodh Kumar Jaiswal to take action against #FaizalSiddiqui for the video he posted that promotes a grievous crimes of #acidattack on social media using @TikTok_IN App. @CyberDost @MahaCyber1 pic.twitter.com/pcjyXtGiJG
— NCW (@NCWIndia) May 18, 2020
What went wrong?
While he may have apologized for the video. It took social media outrage for Faizal to realize that what he had put out was not just inappropriate, but could also set a dangerous precedent. Posting content without thinking of the consequences is where most of the content creators go wrong. How is a heinous crime such as an acid attack a justifiable punishment for anything? Do content creators need to romanticize toxic masculinity, which leads men to think that they have a right to disfigured a woman, scarring her for life, just because she rejected their advances?
To produce content without thinking of consequences is where most of the content producers go wrong.
Why is this problematic?
Faizal failed to understand that being an influencer comes with responsibility towards society. While such a video could have gotten him numerous likes and shares from a certain section of the society, largely men who cannot take No for an answer, it could have put some girl’s life at risk.
Faizal failed to understand that being an influencer comes with responsibility towards society.
Faizal failed to understand that being an influencer comes with responsibility, but this isn’t the first time a video that endorses violence against women has found its way on social media and gained popularity. Time and again you will come across videos in which boys are seen slapping girls. For cheating in a relationship or not valuing the love that a “boi” had to offer to them. Which hints at a bigger underlying problem – that of the ever prevalent misogyny that has now moved from our gullies to TikTok. Platforms may change, but the mindset remains the same. Women need to be taught a lesson, put to place for rejecting a man’s advances. While no one is endorsing adultery or cheating in a relationship, it doesn’t justify violence at any cost.
This is something Indian men and women need to understand, as much as social media influencers who peddle such content just for some likes.
Shreya is an intern with SheThePeople.TV