When women journalists became victims of social media trolls

When women journalists became victims of social media trolls

"I was shamed and had my pictures posted on toilet walls and got torrential abuses 24/7 and even got deadly threats over phone," said Sindhu S, Asianet news anchor while recalling a traumatic phase of trolling and abuse at the Bengaluru Literature Festival on Saturday.

Sindhu was speaking as part of a panel discussing trolling and shaming of women journalists on social media. Sindhu was joined by Nidhi Razdan, Laxmi Murthy, and Ammu Joseph on the panel.

Sindhu narrated an incident where she had moderated a discussion on whether celebrating Mahishashura Jayanthi could be considered an act of treason. Sindhu had posed this query to a panel comprising Congress MP Anto Antony, CPM MP M B Rajesh and Kerala BJP spokesperson V V Rajesh.

Sindhu said that almost 98% of the people who called her up and abused her had actually not seen the discussion on television.

Someone had spread the rumour on social media that Sindhu had found no fault with Durga being termed a sex-worker. After the incident, Sindhu was flooded with the choicest abuses and shamed and threatened over phone at her office and home besides insults on social media.

Nidhi also recounted personal accounts of being trolled and abused on social media frequently. Nidhi said that after one of her posts in a lighter vein about actor Salman Khan's film, she was flooded with abuses from his fans.

The panel discouraged women journalists from shutting their accounts on social media to prevent hate messages but take them head-on and develop a thick skin. However, if they turn nasty, they should be reported to the police, the panel added.

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