Being a successful and most sought after female filmmaker in the industry who has directed acclaimed films like Luck by Chance, Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara and Gully Boy among others, Zoya Akhtar hasn’t been able to shield herself from cyber bullying.
So much so, that she had to quit Facebook, disable comments on Instagram, and she is now reluctant to join Twitter because of extreme trolling that she has already faced on other platforms.
Zoya has been repeatedly targeted and attacked for her Muslim identity, gender, and looks by both men and women. Most devastating are comments that threaten either physical or sexual violence.
“Social media gives people anonymity while bullying and abusing just about anyone and there is no accountability. The fact that social media platforms enable the abusers of women by not identifying them or holding them accountable is a recipe for disaster because it is just a matter of time before the virtual abuse seeps into real spaces,” she was quoted as saying by IANS.
Zoya also expressed concern over the fact that this kind of online abuse spares no one, not even young girls for whom the psychological damage may prove to be debilitating. This deterioration in online discourse, however, she says, is not a recent development but a trend that has become increasingly toxic.
She believes there will come a time when alternative platforms with more stringent checks will emerge as a counterpoint, while the existing platforms will either have to change their moderation policies or will remain saddled with only bullies abusing each other.
In an interview with Indiatimes, Renuka Shahane had also opened up on online trolling.
“You won’t believe once I got trolled for posting a picture of sunrise,” she said and adds, “I mean, I did nothing there. It’s just nature. That is how it is,” she says and explains that she has accepted the fact that one gets trolled for anything and everything on social media.
“If things go out of control, I officially lodge a complaint. I have filed three FIRs against people who trolled me.”
When asked if any action was taken, she says, “Yes, in one of the cases, the action was taken. The two other cases remain unsolved till date. However, in all three cases, the accounts of these people were suspended, but the thing with these trolls is that they come back with a new account. There is no end to this, but why should I live in fear.”
Published at Sun, 17 Jan 2021 03:38:00 +0000