Nowadays, social media has become widely accessible to everyone in this era of technology. While there is a positive side to this, the dark sides of its usage such as harassment, blackmailing, depression, anxiety, and others is also increasing at an alarming rate.
Unfortunately, the majority of internet users are less aware of the laws in Pakistan that punish offenders and protect the sufferers in the virtual world. However, there are also a number of platforms have also been introduced to combat the cyber-harassment and bullying in Pakistan.
What Is Cyber Bullying/Harassment
Cyberbullying or harassment is commonly defined as “an aggressive, intentional act or behavior that is carried out by a group or an individual, using electronic forms of contact, repeatedly and over-time against a victim who cannot easily defend him or herself”.
Steps Needed To Be Taken Immediately After Cyber Bullying
- Keep the entire evidence of cyber bullying safe, day, date, descriptions, time. Print the emails, screenshot and screen record the voice/text messages.
- Use this evidence to report cyberbullying to websitr and mobile service providers.
- Do not forward cyberbullying messages and do not respond to them.
- Immediately block the person who is the bully.
Statistics Of Online Harassment In Pakistan
According to the latest report of Cross-Tab Marketing Services & Telecommunications Research Group for Microsoft Corporation, it has been noted that cyberbullying is very common among young children and teenagers between the age of 8 to 17. It had also stated that Pakistan has the twenty-second highest rate of online bullying among the twenty-five countries surveyed. It further said that about 30% of girls file complaints with regards to online bullying whilst others don’t take any step out of fear.
Report Cyber Bullying To Online Service Providers
Here are a few steps you need to follow in order to report cyber bullying to online service providers;
- Go through social media safety centers to learn how to change settings to control who can view your profile or contact you and how to block user.
- Review their rights and responsibilities section or terms and conditions. This will guide you whether the content is appropriate or not.
- Immediately report cyberbullying to the social media website so that they can take serious action against the culprits violating the terms and services.
Helpline For Cyber Harassment
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H is for HELPLINE. DRF's Helpline is for victims of online harassment. Our team offers legal aid, digital security tips and mental health counselling. You can call at 0800-39393 from 9am – 5pm every day or reach out through social media 24/7 #MehfoozInternet #HamaraInternet @unwomenpakistan
Luckily, the Digital Rights Foundation has recently introduced a cyber harassment helpline where they encourage victims to reports their complaints. They also protect the confidentiality and the rights of the victims and the staff fully cooperate with them. Moreover, they also secure the data digitally and delete it permanently as soon as the case is resolved.
What Is Digital Rights Foundation
According to their website:
The members of Digital Rights Foundation are committed to working towards a safe, judgment-free, and open internet for all. The privacy and confidentiality of the victims who approach our Cyber Harassment Helpline is our utmost priority. We strive to provide a safe space for victims to share their experiences and empower them to take informed decisions. We pledge to always keep in might the best interests of the victim.
How To Lodge A Complaint Against Online Harassment
Their helpline includes a toll-free number which is 0800-39393. Call are received between the hours of 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. from Monday to Friday.
The website also mentions, “During the Covid-19 pandemic, the Helpline staff will be available 24/7. The toll-free number will be accessible from 9a.m. to 5 p.m. and will be available on virtual platforms 24 hours a day. The Helpline will not be open on public holidays.”
You can also email them at email@example.com.
This is a great step to ensure the safety of only girls but the boys as well.
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