Trisha Kar Madhu MMS Clip going viral raises some important questions about us as a society. Social media is a pit, its scope big and dangerous. Holding up one end of the muck are loosely implemented safety guidelines on platforms despite whose existence, women feel unsafe on the internet every single day. The other end is held up by the users themselves, the netizens, who are juicing the advantage of anonymity to exercise predatory, voyeuristic, criminal behaviours with impunity online.
The exponential number of hits on leaked private videos, violent rape clips and MMS leaks is a standing testifier of the rot that resides, and is in fact encouraged, on social media. It takes no time for ‘compromising’ videos, leaked accidentally or out of wilful mischief, to go viral once out. Views upon views ensure that the identity of the person(s) so involved in the video can never be rubbed clean of this blot.
In the recent past, it happened with Bhojpuri actors Trisha Kar Madhu and Priyanka Pandit. After certain videos featuring her went viral online, the former even issued a plea for people to delete the clips from their phones. But are people so civil anymore as to respect a woman’s desperate request? Even in matters so sensitive and essential as consent? Even when it constitutes cybercrime?
What is appealing about links touting ‘private videos’ or ‘leaked clips’ that urges us to click on them? Why, when people first hear of a famous person’s video leak, do they aggressively scour the internet to search for it? What awakens?
Are You Clicking On Crime Online?
Studies say it could be a prompt to release pent-up “destructive energy” in us or prove to be an outlet for cathartic release – but largely acknowledge that it stems from our inclination towards voyeuristic or sadistic pleasures. Deriving satisfaction from someone else’s misery.
The anonymity the internet offers is an extra blanket of protection allowing us to play out our perverse fantasies without consequences.
Outside the ambit of leaked private videos of known celebrities, however, endless nameless faces lie in wait for justice and dignity, which they were robbed of when horrific visuals of their abuse, rape, violence were reportedly publicised and monetised on the internet.
Last year, pornography website PornHub was under massive fire for platforming such videos, including of underage and sex trafficked persons. A New York Times report mentioned the extent of the content included “child rapes, revenge pornography, spy cam videos of women showering, racist and misogynist content…”
The dark web is another uncharted territory that is said to contain a universe of disturbing illegalities.
Can the internet and its presiding tech lords afford to let things spiral further down? Is social media singlehandedly and terrifyingly changing human behaviour patterns and the way we respond to tragedy, misery, pain? Are we wilfully or unknowingly desensitising ourselves to gender crimes? How much time do we have left before we sink irretrievably into depravity?
Views expressed are the author’s own.