Flix Monday, May 18, 2015 - 05:30
Written by  Vijayta Lalwani

Prerna Pratham Singh, a student at the Delhi University, recently posted a screenshot of a sexually abusive message she received on Facebook, and publicly humiliated her harasser. Her screenshot went viral, later the man who sent the message posted that his account had been misused and was extremely apologetic. Prerna is not the first or only one. Lately, many women are choosing to publicly humiliate their online tormentors. Prerna was asked "if she didn’t have a pussy", while Renu R Nair was asked what the size of her "boobs" were. All these women have chosen to go public with the offensive messages, even at the cost of being ridiculed further. Arundhati B Nalukeeti, a social activist and a University of Hyderabad student was perhaps the first to start the trend. In March, she posted a picture of her toilet that read: “Dark…dusty…and dearest... I hide here… I dream here… I masturbate here… Dedicated to all Closet Narcissists...” Arundhati’s post was a reaction to a blog on masturbation, and it was followed by dozens of vulgar messages by strangers that flooded her inbox. She took screenshots of all the messages and uploaded them on her Facebook page. One of the crude messages written in Malayalam, reads "Arundhati, please add me. You look so sexy. Can u give me your phone number? Would you like to have sex with me?” (Translated version) Most times, trolls use anonymous accounts, the cloak of anonymity allowing them to be as abusive as they choose to become. So do targeting anonymous, faceless trolls help? Yes, it does says Arundhati. “I have not received a single message since I put up the screen shots and many people; especially men have praised me for my efforts. Of course there are fundamentalists who believe that no matter how much harassment women go through, they should not speak about it in public. But overall I am quite positive about the social media. I never thought it would be such a huge success,” she adds. A Facebook page called “Sexually Frustrated Mallu” (SFM), started by a group of four in Kerala about five months ago, aims is to bring out "the hypocrisy that exists in a subset of our society,” as many women are targets of “sexual bullying”. Ever since the page started, more women are willing to expose their harassers.   “In the beginning we were posting a lot of screenshots which women were sending us, but it has gone down considerably. We think that exposing such people continuously has made a difference,” says one of the admins of the SFM page. Women are increasingly becoming targets for men to bully online. In a News Minute report about confessions of abusive Indian trolls, Fahad (pseudonym), a 29-year-old businessman says that girls should not put pictures of themselves online. Another one said that it enrages him when his friends put up pictures of themselves displaying affection for each other. So, he targets them through an anonymous account. The message from Arundhati or SFM is the same. Publicly humiliating sexually abusive trolls works. Read- Behind the online abuse on Facebook, the psychology of internet trolls