Authors’ of “VIRAL JUSTICE – IS IT THE NEW REALITY OF SOCIAL MEDIA TRIALS FOR WOMEN LIBERATION”

Tell us about yourself ?

 I am Tanvi Uday Shetty, a second year law student studying at O.P.Jindal Global Law School and am pursuing a BBA-LL.B. degree. I have a keen interest in Cyber-security law , Criminal law  and Environmental law .

I am Priyal Pandey, a second year law student studying at Symbiosis Law School , Hyderabad and am pursuing a BBA-LL.B. degree. My major areas of interest lie in Media and Entertainment law as well as Constitutional law.

What do you think initiates a domino effect of viral justice on social media?

Be it the #MeTOO movement or  in the #BoysLockerRoom case , one could witness the good , the bad and the ugly side of using social media to get justice. What triggers the domino effect is mainly when people divert from the issue or cause at hand and begin to use such movements to further their own agenda and views. This is more often than not  followed by a series of aggressive and toxic debates over difference of opinions which then cultivates into online hate and opens a floodgate of cyber-bullies , doxxers and threats .

 What are the legal remedies available against cyber-bullying in India and what are the laws that provide such remedies?

The Indian Legal framework has sections pertaining to cyber-bullying in the Information & Technology Act, 2000. The section 507 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 ( IPC) covers the area of criminal intimidation and provides for punishment of upto 2 years and more. The Indian Government has a cybercrime portal (https://cybercrime.gov.in/) which comprises a detailed explanation of all the cyber crimes that are identified under law and has made provisions for an aggrieved party to file a complaint on the portal as well.

Why do certain outrages prove to be ineffective? Is it due to so much unreliable information that is being spread in the media that confuses people? 

The “ social media outrage trap” is what psychologists call the disappointing cycle of stories coming out, people indulging in debates and opinionated talks which then leads to triggering certain sections of users who proceed to block out the positive outrage. This online noise cancels out the effectiveness of outrage and leads to subjugation of the relevant cause at hand.

Another factor is the unreliable information that is spread online. Everything from facts , publicly issued statements to photographs are tampered by certain social media users to further their own propaganda. This spurs  the “ social media outrage trap”.

What is your take on the statement, “Social media shouldn’t be used to impress people but to impact people”

Social media is the most accessible medium out there in the world. People use it not only for personal pleasure and communicating with their peers and loved one’s but also use it as a tool to attain justice. When a story breaks out , we as members of the online community need to ensure that the content we post and comment on is credible because at the end of the day social media is everything that our right to free speech and expression stands for and irresponsibility on our part could sidetrack the actual issue at hand.

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