Metrolife: Revenge porn traced to ‘toxic masculine culture’

A man in Bengaluru recently morphed a picture of his former wife and posted it on an escort services site. He was arrested after she approached the police.

Police say revenge porn, or the posting of sexually explicit pictures of former partners, is slowly and steadily on the rise.

Many cases go unreported as women fear a backlash from family and society.

 Kumarjeet Ray, working at Centre for Internet and Society, blames India’s “toxic masculine culture”.

“Men sort of think they have control or power over women who they are in any kind of a relationship with. Thus, leaking their pictures and dishonouring them becomes an act of revenge, with society ending up questioning the woman’s character,” he says.

 The Centre’s ministry of women and child welfare is contemplating more stringent laws against exploitation of women and children on the Internet.  Such acts attract serious legal action, he warns. He reasons trying to lay down rules is impractical as it could lead to self-censorship in intimate relationships.

Dr Roshan Jain, senior consultant, Apollo Hospitals, thinks technological advances have made it easier to defame people.

“Sadly, it is now easy to spread profanity, rumours, lies and intimate pictures,” he says.

The damage is severe because it can drive the victim to severe anxiety and depression. “Having one’s nude or intimate pictures published on pornographic or adult websites can, sometimes, drive people to suicide as well,” he observes.

 Perpetrators suffer from serious attachment or abandonment problems. “It could also have its roots in childhood with a history of trauma and neglect. Growing up with inadequate personality development can also provoke people to indulge in such acts,” he says.

 Cyber police officers say women trapped in such situations must not hesitate to seek help from the police.

Report, says top cop

T Suneel Kumar, city police commissioner, says, “In most cases, women are hesitant to file complaints because they feel that it may infringe their privacy.”

Police offer complete confidentiality in such cases. If women don’t file complaints, perpetrators carry on with no fear of the law, he warns.

Law says...

Publishing intimate content without consent is punishable under the IT Act and Section 354C of the IPC. “Victims can sue for defamation and criminal intimidation. Extortion, harassment, and revealing names attract severe punishment,” says advocate Siji Malayil. Those convicted can be jailed for up to three years, he says.

Catching them

Police use the computer’s IP address to track down those who post revenge porn online.

Infamous cases 

In 2004, an intimate clip of two Delhi Public School students went viral. Raviraj Singh, the engineering student, was caught for trying to auction it on a website. Investigators found seven people had bought the clip.

​Nimesh Bakshi (23) was convicted for uploading nude videos of a woman after she broke off with him.

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Metrolife: Revenge porn traced to ‘toxic masculine culture’

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