Today, the world shares their lives with significant people with a click of a button, by way of pictures and videos. We share every aspect of our day, whether the clothes we wear, the food we eat, the places we visit, and the people we meet. Many people, also often share their intimate pictures and videos with their partners. But what happens when these pictures are forwarded, to others? Would that count as online harassment?
Last year’s movie Pink spoke to us in detail about the issue of consent, a discourse which was very much the need of the hour for Indian society, where being a woman denies one of any personal agency. Consent implies giving your agreement, your nod to an action or gesture. In the same line of thought, comes a new campaign which discusses the issue of consent in the online space. #LetsPictureConsent is a joint initiative of Bruin Consent Coalition and Breakthrough US, and aims to spread awareness regarding non consensual sharing of photos and videos, which takes place in the online spaces. The campaign challenges us to think of this issue, understand that it is a form of online harassment, and do something concrete about it.
As part of our collaborations, #SocialSurfing with Facebook and #TweeSurfing with Twitter, we have been discussing online safety and maintaining one’s privacy online, with college students across India, for almost two years now. With online spaces slowly and steadily turning into a reflection of our society, it is not a matter of surprise that harassment too finds its way in different forms. Through the lens of gender equality and women empowerment, we seek to make the online space not only a gender-just, democratic platform for interaction but we also seek to create social change by harnessing the power of social media. Thus, we give our total support to this wonderful initiative, and hope that this issue of consent and non-consensual photo sharing gains momentum.