Tag Archive for online threat

Woman journalist harassed online, TN Police apathetic

online abuse

Upset women journalists ask Chief Minister Jayalalitha to intervene in the case

By Team FI

An association of women journalists in India has written a letter to the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, J. Jayalalitha, calling her attention to the online harassment of a Chennai based woman journalist, Kavin Malar.

According to the letter issued by Network of Women in Media, India (NWMI), Kavin Malar, a journalist with India Today, has been subjected to character assassination and abusive messages on Facebook for over a month by one Mr Kishore K Swamy. The letter states that Swamy, a self-proclaimed AIADMK supporter, is “repeatedly posting abusive messages on Facebook targeting Kavin Malar’s professional work, her personal character and wilfully attempting to malign her reputation in society as well as in the media.”

The letter alleges that the Chennai police has not taken any action on the complaint filed on May 13, 2013, beyond calling Kavin for an enquiry.

Kishore K Swamy, a self-proclaimed AIADMK supporter is said be a habitual online harasser who particularly targets women journalists- Photo courtesy: Facebook

Kishore K Swamy, a self-proclaimed AIADMK supporter is said be a habitual online harasser who particularly targets women journalists- Photo courtesy: Facebook

Kavin told FeminsitsIndia that she suspects Swamy has chosen to target her primarily because she is a woman and also because she has written often on Dalit issues. According to Kavin, the abuse began soon after her visit to Marakkanam, a small town near Chennai to report on an incident of caste violence that took place in April this year. Soon after, Swamy began posting abusive comments against her on his Facebook wall. Swamy alleged that Kavin used a criminal’s vehicle to travel to Marakkanam and then went to a nearby luxurious bungalow to have sex and smoke cannabis.

“This man writes that I have connection with a criminal, whose name I have not even heard before. He accuses me of traveling to Marakkanam in this criminal’s car. Is India Today not capable of arranging a cab to its employee? He is writing almost daily about me in obscene language. These abuses are too personal and he is intruding into my personal life,” says Kavin.

Online harassment against women is on the rise in India. Earlier this year, in April, activist Kavita Krishnan was threatened with rape during a discussion on the anti-rape movement in India on an online chat forum organised by Rediff.com, a leading Indian news portal. In 2012, Meena Kandasamy, a young poet, was subjected to a violent hate campaign on Twitter which also called for her gang rape. This was in reaction to her supporting Dalit students at a beef eating festival in Hyderabad last year.

Activist gets rape threat while discussing anti-rape protest online

online rape threat

Activist abused and threatened with rape on Rediff.com live chat that was organised to discuss anti-rape protest

By Team FI

Social activist Kavita Krishnan has demanded a public apology from the website Rediff.com in regard to the degrading and violent messages addressed to her during a chat organised by the news portal. Krishnan, Secretary, All India Progressive Women’s Association, was contacted by Rediff.com to participate in a live chat on April 23, 2013, which invited participants to interact with an activist involved in the anti-rape protests.

The chat took place in her office from 2 pm to 3 pm when at one point, one of the participants with the handle RAPIST began to post offending and malicious threats. “In one ‘question’ he said, “Kavita tell women not to wear revealing clothes then we will not rape them.” The same man then posted another question several times: “Kavita tell me where I should come and rape you using condom.” Both questions were in block capitals and very visible,” said Krishnan.

Rediff.com’s Ganesh Nadar, responded at first saying that live chats cannot be screened. “This I know for a fact is not true since I have been in such chats with other media groups. Later Mr Nadar said that the man in the Rediff Mumbai office monitoring the chat failed to spot the ‘RAPIST’ because there were ‘so many questions.’ I find this difficult to believe since this was the only handle in capital letters and the questions were also in capitals. Yet, no one from Rediff did anything to screen such offensive questions, or to block someone with a handle of ‘RAPIST’ from the chat!” said Krishnan.

Krishnan has demanded a public apology from Rediff.com. “Condoning and allowing such intimidating behaviour against women keeps women out of the online space just as rape keeps women off the streets. I resent this intimidation, and in this instance, hold Rediff squarely responsible for failing to keep ‘RAPIST’ out of the chat,” accused Krishnan.

Krishnan has also asked Rediff.com file an FIR and help to investigate the identity of the offender. She was informed that Rediff has taken a screenshot of the chat and are filing an FIR with the screenshot being sent to cyber crime labs in Worli, Mumbai. Though she has not received the screenshot as yet, she informs that Rediff.com has posted the transcript of the chat with a “(non) apology of sorts.”