The social media can often bring out the worst in its users. Liberated from social conventions and afforded a degree of anonymity, people descend to cussing, tarnishing and sullying reputations. Women get the worst attacks, and are the target of cyber-stalking and threats of rape and murder.
On Tuesday, Maneka Gandhi announced that her Ministry for Women and Child Development is working to curb internet misogyny. She said she has written to the Home Ministry to come up with a code for online behaviour that would classify trolling of women as violence.
“Women have to deal with tremendous viciousness online,” the Union minister told NDTV. “Initially, the operators would not come and talk to us and cooperate about giving details. But now they have come on board.” She explained that it was a journalist’s complaint that brought the problem to light.
Her statement came as the Union ministry released a draft National Policy on Women, focusing on issues related to single women, among other things. At first the comment was greeted with welcoming messages, such as this.
But then the misogyny started flowing, with trolls targeting Gandhi about the plan.
In the meantime, Twitter found other reasons to outrage.