New Delhi: Popular playback singer Chinmayi Sripada has started an online petition urging Twitter to “clean up its act” and show “zero tolerance” to rape threats on its platform by shutting down abusive accounts en masse.
In her petition #RapeThreatsNotOk addressed to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, the singer has demanded that the micro blogging site send out a “strong message” by shutting down accounts of offenders on a large scale.
The petition hosted on ‘Change.org’ has garnered 40,000 signatures in the past 48 hours.
Recently, Delhi University student Gurmehar Kaur had filed a complaint with the Delhi Commission of Women (DCW) following rape threats issued to her on Twitter for starting a campaign against ABVP in response to violence at Delhi’s Ramjas College.
“It is the responsibility of Twitter to ensure that their platform is not used for promoting violence against women,” Sripada’s petition stated.
“In 2015, 360,000 twitter accounts were shut down for links to terrorism. Why can’t the same be done for accounts that tweet rape threats?
“Women across the world are beginning to find Twitter hostile and traumatic. It is time Twitter cleaned up its act and showed women that it is truly listening to our concerns,” it said.
Sripada, who has sung popular songs in south Indian and Bollywood movies such as ‘Guru’, ‘Chennai Express’ and ‘Two States’, has herself been a victim of abuses on Twitter.
“It has been four years since I faced rape threats on Twitter, but the situation today is the same, if not more vicious for women. I continue to get rape threats, if people disagree with my views.
“I am deeply disturbed by the unrelenting use of terms such as rape or gang rape or acid attack on Twitter, to intimidate women for holding a contrarian view. I started this petition on Change.org to get Twitter users to stand up against this abuse and say #RapeThreatsNotOk,” she said.
According to a press statement by Change.org, Sripada was responsible for the first ever arrest for online harassment in India, wherein she managed to get two of her tormentors arrested.
The singer had to face a barrage of abuses from an actor’s fans recently when she appreciated the work of another actor, it said.
Last year, the Maneka Gandhi-led Women and Child Development Ministry had initiated #IamTrolled helpline, wherein complainants could send an email to a dedicated account of the Ministry. The mail would then be sent either to the social media platform concerned or the Cyber Crime Cell.
According to the data compiled by the Ministry, a total of 60 complaints were received in this regard, out of which 27 were related to Facebook and 17 to Twitter.