The levels to which the negativity on social media is stooping to, astounded everyone recently, when a five-year-old child was issued rape threats. And it was cricketer Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s daughter, Ziva, all because her father didn’t play well in an Indian Premiere League (IPL) match. What’s even more shocking is that it was a 16-yr-old boy from Gujarat who did this, and he has been detained by police now.
Netizens ever since have naturally been boiling over this. And celebs too, have been expressing their displeasure. “All the players giving their best,sometimes it just doesn’t work but it’s doesn’t give any one any authority to give a threat to a young child #mentality #respect,” tweeted cricketer Irfan Pathan.
Actor R Madhavan meanwhile wanted strict punishment to be meted out to the boy who issued those threats. “Teenager Detained For Issuing Threats Against MS Dhoni’s Daughter: Police Great job .. time to clamp down and put the fear of law and god on these faceless monsters who think they can do and say what they want on the internet. Even if they are teens,” he wrote.
What does this show about the toxicity on social media today, the fact that even innocent children are not spared? Actor Shreyas Talpade, father to a two-year-old girl, is shocked when we mention this incident. “On My God, something like this is disgusting, to say the least, and not only unfortunate. In our country, we have been saying what we have come down to. And it was just a match of cricket. For that, if someone is going to go down to this level, unfortunate is an understatement. I don’t know why we have so much negativity,” he says.
Filmmaker Karan Johar’s twins Roohi and Yash too reportedly received death threats. Saif Ali Khan and Kareena Kapoor Khan’s three-year-old son Taimur also became the subject of some vulgar memes in the past.
Psychologist Pulkit Sharma says such is the mentality of trolls online, because that’s what is being in the society too. “There has been a very steady rise in aggression and perversion. So in general people are very angry and they have a very perverted bent of mind, and when it comes to online where your identity cannot be revealed clearly, and you cannot be held for what you are saying, it becomes a very safe place for such kinds of instincts to be expressed,” he explains.
Echoing similar sentiments as Talpade is actor Mahie Gill, mother to a three-year-old girl. She says these people who issue such threats are ‘shameless’. “They have no other work to do. Authorities should take these trolls seriously and take strict action against these sick minds, and the strictest punishment should be given to them. My blood boils when I read or hear something like this. Where are we headed? I think there has to be some protocol or system wherein these messages should be regulated before they could be posted,” says the 44-year-old.
Actor Geeta Basra, wife of cricketer Harbhajan Singh, calls such incidents ‘sickening’, and says, “That a 16-year-old boy wrote such disgusting things is sickening. I think he’s old enough to understand what he has written, and stupid enough to understand he is going to get caught. The fact that you can get someone so quickly over social media, you know where they live and can trace their location. He should be punished in some brutal way.”
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