Wednesday May 23, 2018
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Cyber abuse – Are we losing our sensibility on social media?

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By Keshav Chhabra

The recent cyber attack on actor Shruti Seth by Twitteratis is not the first time celebrities have been exposed to cyber abuse. Over the years, death threats have been received, especially by those who have ventured to express their opinion. Though these opinions are different from the mainstream, but sometimes, one wonders at the futility of such attacks. The easy privilege of anonymity with the introduction of social media has been a perfect catalyst for “trolls”; trolls which no more are limited to ridicule and jokes but insensible and vulgar abuse.

Considering the array of such attacks, it might be a bit too easy (and inappropriate) to dismiss these attacks in the name of “politics”. The accusations hurdled are usually baseless; almost no one trying to be polite enough to share the opinion. The tweets directed towards Seth were immensely misogynistic; ironically by those who were empowering females in India by #SelfieWithDaughter.

Cyber bullying

What Steve Ragan calls in his article “an easily exploitable attack surface”, the space has driven many to sign off from this virtual world. Sara Payne, Zelda Williams (Robin Williams’s daughter), Lily James, Stephen Fry, Jennifer Lawrence and many more decided to cut off this series after waves of social media abuse. The “sick jokes” are not easy to handle, are they? So, what could have been an avoidable situation ended up becoming the worst nightmare for someone who was brave enough to express an opinion.

Meghna Pant in her article writes about the fear she faced, after becoming a victim of cyber abuse writes, “It’s hard to describe the kind of fear I began to feel, but it was somewhat like being publicly lynched.” She talks about how the comments were directed on her face, her body. The threats of rape and acid attacks were directed to her, not for what she thinks, but because she is a woman.

A video which rocked the world of cyber bullying titled “My Story: Struggling, bullying, suicide, self harm” depicting the story of a victim Amanda Todd has received more than ten million hits on Youtube. But the story has not changed much. Cyber abuse, which makes no distinction on the basis of gender, does not seem to end in the coming future. According to a report conducted by the state of Missouri in United States of America, around 38 per cent of frequent bully-victims reported suicidal thinking or a suicide attempt during the past one year.

A still from the video.
A still from the video.

Though many come up in the front to report such cases and extend their support to the victims of social abuse, the damage caused cannot be repaired. Apart from our own sensibility towards the issue, future exhibits little hope.

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Depression in Males Can Reduce The Pregnancy Chances, says Study

Citing previous studies, the authors noted that 41 per cent of women seeking fertility treatments have symptoms of depression.

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Among couples being treated for infertility, depression in the male partner was linked to lower pregnancy chances, according to a study.
Depression in males can reduce the chances of pregnancy. Pixabay

Among couples being treated for infertility, depression in the male partner was linked to lower pregnancy chances, according to a study.

The study showed that couples in which the male partner had major depression were 60 per cent less likely to conceive and give birth than those in which the male partner did not have major depression.

On the other hand, depression in the female partner was not found to influence the rate of birth.

In addition, intake of a class of antidepressants known as non-selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (non-SSRIs) was also linked to a higher risk of early pregnancy loss among females being treated for infertility, the study appearing in the journal Fertility and Sterility, noted.

However, SSRIs, another class of antidepressants, were not linked to pregnancy loss. Neither depression in the female partner nor the use of any other class of antidepressant were linked to lower pregnancy rates.

 

“Our study provides infertility patients and their physicians with new information to consider when making treatment decisions,” said Esther Eisenberg, at National Institutes of Health’s Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) in Maryland, US.

Among couples being treated for infertility, depression in the male partner was linked to lower pregnancy chances, according to a study.
On the other hand, depression in the female partner was not found to influence the rate of birth. Pixabay

Citing previous studies, the authors noted that 41 per cent of women seeking fertility treatments have symptoms of depression.

Another study of men seeking in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) treatments reported that nearly 50 per cent experienced depression.

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For the study, the team analysed data for 1,650 women and 1,608 men to evaluate the potential influence of depression in couples seeking non-IVF treatments.

Among the women, 5.96 per cent were rated as having active major depression, compared to 2.28 per cent of the men.

Women using non-SSRIs were roughly 3.5 times as likely to have a first-trimester pregnancy loss, compared to those not using antidepressants. (IANS)