"the group is used for sharing objectionable pictures of minor girls"
An Instagram group called #BoysLockerRoom has caused a storm on social media, raising questions about the safety of women and girls on the platform.
Reportedly, the group involves hundreds of boys from Delhi schools objectifying underage girls and casually talking about raping them.
The matter came to light on May 3, 2020, when social media users posted screenshots from the group onto Twitter.
They show members of the group posting photos of underage girls without their consent along with disgusting comments.
The Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) issued a notice to Delhi Police and Instagram.
DCW Chairwoman Swati Maliwal said:
“It is reported that the group is used for sharing objectionable pictures of minor girls and young women along with their personal information.
“The members of the group have been reported to have discussed techniques of raping women and gang-raping minors.”
The DCW also alleged that several other vulgar comments had been made on the private group.
Maliwal added: “The commission has received several screenshots of the group wherein the handle names and the usernames are clearly visible.
“This is a very serious matter as an open media platform is being used for illegal activities.”
DCW requested Instagram and the Delhi Police to reply by May 8, 2020.
News of #BoysLockerRoom led to outrage on social media.
Delhi Police said that they are “analysing the social media posts” and are looking deeply into the matter.
Anish Roy, Deputy Commissioner of Police, Cyber Crime, said:
“We have come to know about this through social media monitoring. We haven’t received any complaints in this regard so far.
“However, we are analysing the social media posts and are looking deeply into the matter.”
Maliwal called for those who are associated with the group to be arrested.
“The DCW has sent notices to Instagram and Delhi Police. We want these boys to be arrested immediately and the strongest action to be taken against them.”
One social media user who was one of the first to expose the #BoysLockerRoom group wrote:
“I have never in my life been so furious. These shameless f***** are not even slightly guilty about what they’ve done.”
“They’re going around and hacking our accounts now. NOTHING CAN OR WILL STOP US.”
It was reported that members of the group even threatened to leak nude photographs of any females who reported them.
Sexist attitudes, rape jokes and so-called “locker room banter” are considered by experts the foundations that escalate from normalisation of rape culture to outright sexual assault.
A widely-publicised international poll in 2018, at the height of the #MeToo movement, ranked India as the most dangerous country for women due to the high risk of sexual violence.