CPIM leaders join campaign against online abuse of women troll cadres listening
Flix Friday, September 04, 2015 - 17:41

The Communist Party of India (Marxist) in Kerala has added one more subject, to the list of things it wants to tell some of its cadre: how to behave on social media. CPI(M) leaders MLA Thomas Issac and Polit buro member MA Baby have endorsed the 'For a Better FB' campaign, which aims to work with Facebook to stop online abuse and harassment of women and minorities.

The campaign says it is “a powerful, collective voice against Facebook policies that fuel online harassment, violence and hatred against women and minorities”.

Three days ago, Issac wrote that the party was taking a serious view after it was reported that its cardres were some of the online trolls and abusers.

In July, feminist and activist Preetha G Nair was hounded on Facebook after she criticized CPI (M) leader G Sudhakaran’s comments about the way women actors should dress. In the first week of August, Malayala Manorama’s Thiruvananthapuram correspondent Sujith Nair was trolled for his report which stated that CPI (M) cadres were leaving the party. In both cases, many abusers were party cadres.

On his Facebook page, Issac said:

“CPI(M) has given clear instructions to all members and supporters who engage in cyber debates. Campaigns which use defamation, ad hominem attacks and ridiculing tones should not be used against anybody. Sadly posts and statuses which attack people, especially women, are emerging from a small group of party supporters. They should realize that this kind of responses are an affront to the party itself.”

He said that it was important to ensure that social media too were healthy spaces for discussion:

“I had previously written about the language and self restraint that should be applied while using social media. We are still very backward in gender consciousness. It is in this context that complaints have risen about facebook's community standards. It is very disappointing that a company like facebook still do not have means to ascertain and evaluate problems in regional languages. It is as if there is program in which lakhs of people are participating and there is no support from the organizers.”

MA Baby however had some harsh words for RSS cadres who were abusive on facebook and wrote, "The people who have abandoned any kind of forward thinking are the ones who are enjoying this."

He also warned Left cadres indulging in abusing women that it was just not acceptable.

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