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We live in a world where social media has taken over our lives. Real time relationships (Social interactions) are rare nowadays and people are more obsessed in displaying love and affection via social media. The possible question that comes here is, why have we become such? The power of ‘Like’ has turned extremely influential. I believe, today’s generation is busy capturing every moment rather than enjoying and  living it.

With the advent of  the digital age immediate access to information, connectivity with own people, raising a globalised voice and self or business developement has been achievable but they(there) are a few who  misuse it.

Almost everyone has a secret longing to be the centre of attraction or attention and social media has become the much needed fuel to such desires. The youngsters feel uninhibited in cyberspace and tend to experiment. Undeniably, the digital world which was created to benefit the human race, has opened louder on the misuse of it, such as personal data sharing by popular social media sites as well as gradual rise of a new challenge to relationships i.e. online infidelity.

You might have heard about leaking of explicit photos of celebrities, which we all enjoy  but ignore the gravity of such situations and outcomes. Now, MMS scandals or Revenge Porn has become a common crime fad in the society and feels like it is here to stay.

I remember reading a related case that surfaced in news daily on 9th March, 2018. According to the reports, the clip features a +3 second year boy and a +2 first year girl of a college in Kantilo area of Nayagarh district. The boy allegedly recorded their intimate moments and shared it with some of his friends. The clip later got uploaded to various platforms on social media and went viral (Reference to the case has been made not to plug fear and distress but to create awareness).

MMS scandal, Cyber stalking, Cyber trolling, Cyber bullying, Harassment, Blackmail and Revenge Porn is extremely harmful, illegal and has become a worldwide issue. It is life ruining and more venomous than drugs.

Another incident that surfaced on 19th March, 2018, where in a woman (husband working in Odisha) in her mid-thirties committed suicide in East Midnapore district (WB)) after four individuals, including three high school students, allegedly uploaded nude photographs of her on the social media. The woman had lost her mobile phone while taking her daughter to school. A student found the phone and allegedly transferred a few ‘private’ pictures to his phone before returning it to the woman and then blackmailed her for sexual favours.

Revenge porn is real and victimizes people of all genders but women are disproportionately affected. It cannot be denied that one fine morning, you could wake up,  to find a nude or indecent picture of yourself or intimate moments with your partners, uploaded on your favourite social networking site or on thousands of porn websites. Just thinking of it gives me goose bumps…isn’t it?

Sourav Mohanty (Final year B. Tech student, Bhubaneswar)  says, “I believe, one of the main problems in such scandals is ‘VICTIM BLAMING’ Even if the videos was made out of consent but its distribution is mostly non-consensual. But due to our judgmental and stereotypical society, some people are afraid to report about it due to the repercussions and the questions which they have to face from the society like – ‘why did you do it in the first place’, ‘slut-shaming’ and even disturbances in their professional career.”

Cybercrime has shot up in the state by an alarming rate of 159 percent with 824 cases registered last year as against 317 in 2016. Of the total cybercrime cases, 195 are on objectionable viral videos of women of which 97 were reported in 2017 alone. Very recently, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had informed the State Assembly that CyberCrime Cell had registered 31 cases of objectionable viral video during the last three months (till March 31, 2018). Experts attribute the alarming rise to easy availability of internet, unchecked use of social media and lack of proper mechanism to prevent the offence.

Sad to say, these days, it has become a trend. Revenge Porn and MMS has turned to be the cruel method for ex – partners. This method travels faster and has potential for greater damage. But despite the widespread nature of the crime, many targets hesitate to complain for the fear of being shamed and blamed.

Another factor which plays a vital role for a youth who has never talked about sex tries to use such porn (not the ones by professional artist) as a relatable form of sex education just as the new generation women who are viewing porn to explore and express their sexuality in a manner they want.

Revenge porn is a real issue and the naive ones are mostly victimized other while majority take pleasure in watching such clips and wait for the arrival of new ones every day. The consumers get a flavor of porn at the expense of real people’s lives getting destroyed—and that’s unacceptable. Such exploitations need to be stopped.

The psychological consequences of such crimes on victims are quite terrifying. MMS scandal and Revenge Porn is an inhuman and destructive act as it damages relationships, and negatively affects our society as a whole. It triggers behavioural change,  social alienation and suicidal attempts. Puspita Sahoo (Psychiatric Social Worker- SUM Hospital) says, “For such mentally and emotionally abuse victims, we do counseling sessions for PTSD  (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorders), depression and anxiety, dissociative disorder. We apply therapy like CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy), BT and Family Therapy”. Sadly, many youngsters don’t even get proper counseling since they are scared of sharing information of exploitations with anyone.

Now, do you think it is enough, that only the Govt  and Police will make all the efforts to stop the crime? Isn’t it, our responsibility too? Its easy to blame others, let us ACT RESPONSIBLE, rather than making the world an unsafe and a kinky place to live in. We must speak out and fight against such exploitation by not promoting such post in social media and reporting and redressing such offences with the appropriate authorities.

Join the fight. Through this article of Coffee Bytes, youth as responsible human beings should avoid sharing sex related content on any platform. The effect from Revenge Porn or MMS is more than shame and shock that one might feel, when they discover themselves to be the victim of this crime. It matters to all of us. Revenge Porn is a crime and changing mindset is the only cure. Simply, non sharing of explicit personal photos and videos could save many lives from getting destroyed.  So let us live and let  others live with dignity in a safe world.

 

By Upagupt Mohanty

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