New Delhi: Maneka Gandhi, who has declared war on those who troll women, has set up a cyber cell in her Women’s and Child Development Ministry to check online abuse.
“Women have been getting threats on social media, a girl has committed suicide because her picture was photo-shopped…say what you want on the Net but if there is a case of abusive crime, stalking, then my department will take cognizance,” promised the Union Minister, who also met a senior official from social networking site Twitter today, as her ministry frames a mechanism to act against those who troll, stalk or bully women online.
“If women are forced to commit suicide then the government has to step in,” the minister said.
Earlier this week, Mrs Gandhi had asked women who face abuse on the internet to email her. “Are you a woman who is trolled or abused? Inform me at firstname.lastname@example.org,” she tweeted on Tuesday.
She also advised women and children to use the hashtag #IamtrolledHelp to draw attention and raise an alarm if they are “bullied, stalked or abused online,” and asked the National Commission for Women or NCW to monitor such cases.
Send me your complaints, use #IamTrolledHelp. pic.twitter.com/TdUSmdfbuq
— Maneka Gandhi (@Manekagandhibjp) July 6, 2016
The NCW has, however, said that policing the Internet will be impossible. “You can’t police the net. It is an open space, it is like a galaxy almost. There are billions of twitter accounts and no organisation can keep an eye on twitter. It is not physically possible for anybody to say we are following everybody’s twitter,” said NCW chief Lalitha Kumaramangalam, adding that the only the police can act on this.
Maneka Gandhi has also roped in the home ministry and the information technology ministry to help catch and punish trolls. The minister said she had asked the National Commission for Women to monitor instances of women being trolled on social media.