Sonakshi Sinha on cyber harassment: They must know there will be consequences

Updated: 29 October, 2020 07:31 IST | Mohar Basu | Mumbai

After teaming up with Mumbai police to tackle cyberbullying, Sonakshi Sinha plans to implement her campaign Ab Bas on a national level.

Sonakshi Sinha
Sonakshi Sinha

Four months ago, Sonakshi Sinha would wake up to hateful social media messages every morning. While the actor left Twitter soon after, the episode made her take stock of the larger menace of cyber harassment, leading to the genesis of Ab Bas in July. Through the campaign that is supported by Mumbai police, Mission Josh and cyber expert Ritesh Bhatia, Sinha wants to encourage netizens to initiate strict action against online bullying.

"During the lockdown, we saw a marked rise in cases of online harassment. People were idle and frustrated, which was manifesting in the form of online hate. Harassment starts with abusing, graduates to stalking, and then there are threats. With Ab Bas, the idea was to familiarise people with the legal options they have when subjected to cyberbullying. Creating awareness is necessary because school children and young people are falling prey to it," she emphasises. As part of the initiative, representatives help claimants gather evidence of social media abuse and file complaints with the concerned authorities.

In August, the Mumbai cyber crime cell had nabbed a man in Aurangabad for harassing Sinha online. Though relieved that steps are being taken to curb the menace, she seeks actionable measures that will effect a clampdown on the issue. "The Mumbai cybercrime cell has started tracking the IP addresses of the harassers and catching them. People may hide behind fake accounts, but their IP addresses can be tracked down. I want online abusers to know there will be consequences. We have simplified the process of taking action. To their credit, people are stepping up to file complaints." Her next step is to take the campaign on a national level. "We are talking to different authorities to ensure it is implemented across the nation."

Even as she is working towards making social media the "safe and happy space" that it was originally envisioned as, the actor has no intention of returning to Twitter. "I deactivated my account, and with that, a lot of the negativity dissipated from my life. To me, peace of mind is most important. I am not keen to hop back on Twitter."

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First Published: 29 October, 2020 07:03 IST

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