What to do when faced with online cyber bullying?

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Gurmehar Kaur has been trolled online for her campaign against ABVP. She has been called names, have been given rape threats and this has forced her to pull out her campaign against ABVP.

What Gurmehar went through can also be seen as cyber bullying.

In last few years, the cases of online abuse and harassment has drastically increased. In such a condition, what are some of the options that we can opt for, which can provide us with immediate relief.

There are various recourses that a victim can choose in such a scenario: The law relating to communication is restricted to offensive, obscene message/images or messages when shown disinterest. Cyber bullying is a wider term. A victim of cyber bullying can approach the court under Indian Penal Code or Under Information Technology Act. IPC opens up doors for victims of stalking u/s 354D and its ambit covers a part of cyber stalking u/s 354D(1)(ii). We can consider this incident (Gurmehar Kaur) to be of Cyber bullying nature which covers cyber stalking and cyber harassment both along with multiple other faces it may take.

In her case, Gurmehar Kaur has filed a complaint with Delhi Commission for Women against cyber bullies.

It has been reported that the FIR had been filed under Section 67 of the IT Act and Sections 354 A (sexual harassment) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code.

What are some of the other options that we have if we are a victim of cyber bullying:

a) In this case, Delhi Commission for Women has initiated an inquiry on its own and have sought Facebook to deactivate accounts from Facebook of the abusers.

b) Some of the twitter handles have been identified and they can be asked to be deactivated.

Source: Twitter @SwatiJaiHind

In some of the cities, there is an option of going to Cyber cells as well.

In Delhi, there is a cyber cell in Daryaganj, where victims can go and file complaints and initiate cases against the abusers.

The Cyber cell deals with issues of complaints like hacking of Facebook and Twitter accounts, fake email IDs, credit card frauds, abusive and defamatory emails. It has facilities to retrieve and analyse immediately evidence pertaining to emails, websites, chat rooms, databases etc., and trace desktops, laptops and mobiles phones.

It is important to realize some of the options, that can help us in protecting ourselves from these online threats and we can use the existing mechanisms. These mechanisms are not full proof and they are yet to respond to the increasing changing nature of technology, but these resources provide us with some relief, that needs to be used to challenge the rampant online hooliganism.

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