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The Problem of Abuse

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Social Media networks might have democratised information and opinion but abuse, particularly directed towards women, is a problem that needs to be addressed

Almost every public personality, politicians, actors and journalists have suffered at the hands of an online mob. Even your writer has been called names and faced vitriol on social media. However, in light of events over the past few weeks, it has become glaringly obvious that the online harassment of women has not just reached endemic levels it has become a global scourge. And this needs to be addressed and fast. Your writer has seen the mentions and direct messages that some female journalists in India have received and to call them vile would be an understatement. Threats of sexual violence and murder are not acceptable. Period. And the simple fact is that women who are online, particularly those with a public profile get it worse. It is sometimes impossible as a man to understand the level and the severity of those threats. But the time has come to say, as men, to say enough is enough. And why should anybody get abused for posting a perfectly decent selfie or expressing an opinion?

If ever your writer has said something inappropriate in a public forum, online and offline which could be construed as a slur or a threat, even though that is unlikely, I apologise profusely. There is no excuse for any such behaviour. And if there is anybody I know who has publicly indulged in such behaviour those people are not worth knowing. Yes, what happens among groups of men is sometimes disconcerting and deeply troubling and does highlight the fact that we live is a highly patriarchal society. As the Harvey Weinstein episode reveals, there is systematic........

© The Pioneer