Distributing private images and videos of someone without their consent on social media with the intent to cause distress is not only illegal but also inhumane and unethical and an invasion of privacy.
Sidra Iqbal, host of “Aaj Pakistan,” spoke to clinical psychologist Farah Khan and motivational speaker Umair Jaliawala to unpack the phenomenon of revenge porn, its effects on society and ways people can protect themselves.
On Wednesday Dr Aamir Liaquat Hussain’s third wife, Dania Shah posted inappropriate videos of him roaming naked in his room and consuming some white substance from a black tray. The videos went viral on social media.
Reacting to the videos, Hussain demanded the FIA’s cybercrime wing take action against Shah as it falls under cyber offence.
“When a person enters a relationship with love and invests in it immensely, they expect to receive a similar return. When that doesn’t happen, they either remove themselves from the situation gracefully or bring their case to the public on social media to get revenge on their significant other,” said Jaliawala.
It’s also to feel some kind of solace, he added.
These videos are made at times when both parties completely trust each other. And when they’re posted online, the reactions they receive are varied. Some social media users blame the victim for indulging in such activities while others might sympathise or console them.
It’s very difficult to be on guard 24/7 when you’re spending time with your partner, thinking that they might misuse a conversation or a video later.
“The sanctity of relationships demands that what is done and said in private should remain private. Leaking these videos is unethical,” said Jaliawala.
Speaking about the rise of revenge porn videos in Pakistan, Farah said that people have always looked for such escape routes and clauses even before social media. Now it has just become easier to demean somebody’s reputation with a single click.
“Your one upload can get millions of re-shares and replies,” she added.
Increased exposure to such content has desensitised the public and made it normal to record, share and comment freely on it.
One can protect themselves from becoming a victim of leaked videos by resisting another person filming private and vulnerable moments.
“It should definitely be resisted. Don’t take or let anyone else take a compromising video of yourself, otherwise, you’re taking a risk,” said Jaliawala.
Women in Pakistan are protected by law and can’t be forced to participate in sexual activities even in a marriage.
“Think critically and don’t be blinded by love,” he added.