Indian Girl takes Her Life after Facebook Revenge Porn

A 17-year-old Indian girl has taken her own life in the Murshidabad district of West Bengal as a result of revenge porn posted on Facebook by a male friend.

revenge porn facebook

"Postmortem was conducted on Monday and its report confirmed suicide."

A 17-year-old girl has committed suicide after her 21-year-old male friend posted intimate pictures of her on Facebook. The importance of Facebook’s guidelines regarding ‘revenge porn’ is emphasised.

It is believed that on July 8th 2018, the girl had been involved in an argument with her male friend. As a result, the friend allegedly posted intimate images of her to Facebook.

The young girl hanged herself in West Bengal’s Murshidabad district. This comes after three similar incidents that have been reported over the previous 10 months.

Revenge porn is becoming a growing concern in many countries. It refers to an act often committed by a scorned ex that posts intimate pictures of their previous partner on social media sites.

With the rise of technology and connectivity, once a picture is shared online it can be incredibly difficult to remove it from the internet. As a result, some victims of revenge porn see suicide as the only option.

According to the Hindustan Times, the West Bengal police are currently investigating the recent incident and have detained the man who allegedly posted the pictures.

Prasenjit Banerjee, a sub-divisional police officer at Jangipur said:

“We have detained the man who uploaded the photos but he has not been arrested yet as the girl’s family has not lodged any written complaint against him.

“A case of unnatural death has been registered. Postmortem was conducted on Monday and its report confirmed suicide.”

Whilst he has not been arrested, the man was made to delete the photographs by the police. Officers at Suti police station added that the man had faked his identity to become close to the victim.

This young girl is not the only person to have been victimised by revenge porn. In 2012, DESIblitz reported Anisha’s story of revenge porn.

Her ex-boyfriend had released intimate photos of herself on The Dark Net. Not only did her pictures end up on 2,137 online sites, her ex also gave out her personal details.

Anisha received frightening and threatening messages from lots of people as her details got passed around. Fortunately, Anisha managed to turn the horrific incident around as she became a hacker.

She used her skills to compile a mound of evidence against her ex which eventually led to his arrest. He was given 6 months in jail.

facebook revenge porn

In a statement, Facebook said they prohibit and remove any intimate pictures that are shared without consent. They also remove any images that are of or promote sexual violence. They said:

“We remove intimate images shared in revenge or without permission as well as photos or videos depicting incidents of sexual violence. We also remove content that threatens or promotes sexual violence or exploitation.”

In an attempt to tackle the cases of revenge porn circulating on the social media site. Facebook said it was trying to make it impossible to repost or share intimate images of people without their consent.

Once the post has been identified as being intimate and uploaded without the permission of the person in the images, it can be removed.

Facebook’s global head of safety, Antigone Davis told the BBC in 2017:

“We are constantly looking to build and improve the tools that we offer and it became very apparent to us that this was a problem occurring across many regions that created unique harm.

“This is a first step and we will be looking to build on the technology to see if we can prevent the initial share of the content.”

Ranjana Kumari, the Director at the Delhi-based Centre for Social Research, spoke to the Hindustan Times about the alarming number of revenge porn victims. She said:

“We need to understand what is driving this behaviour, is it the anticipation of the threat of posting? Or the actual act of posting that’s leading to such incidents.”

She also mentioned the action that social media platforms can take to help. She suggests quicker response times to incidents of revenge porn and awareness of cultural differences.

Kumari said:

“The reaction time taken by social media platforms needs to be checked. They should be quick to respond. Facebook and Twitter need to tweak their strategy according to local cultural nuances to avoid such incidents.

“For instance, what is shameful for a girl in India might be very different from (what is shameful for one in) the West.”

In terms of what the victim can do to protect themselves. Kumari added:

“Having said that, social media platforms have created a number of protection mechanisms – protect your profile picture, choose the audience you share your content with etc.

“Users need to understand the technical support that’s available to them – report abuse, mute, block…”

It is clear that Facebook is taking this issue seriously by introducing new ways to tackle the devastating issue.

However despite Facebook’s attempts, evidently, not enough is being done to protect the victims.

Perhaps more stringent laws regarding this worldwide issue need to be introduced to deter offenders.

But for now, as suggested by Kumari, one of the best ways to protect yourself is to become familiar with the protective tools that social media sites have provided.

Ellie is an English literature and Philosophy graduate who enjoys writing, reading and exploring new places. She is a Netflix-enthusiast who also has a passion for social and political issues. Her motto is: “Enjoy life, never take anything for granted.”

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