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The sexual objectification of women on Reddit and their dehumanization is further evidence of Grooming Jihad: How platforms are failing to act

The mentality demonstrated by these accounts is precisely the one that furthers crime such as 'Grooming Jihad'.

Social media platform Reddit has been festering in recent times with vile bigoted propaganda. As we had reported on Thursday, pornographic content were shared on the platform with the intent to cause communal tension and strife. The pornographic images showed Hindu women lusting for Muslim men.

The Reddit accounts, which were often private, engaged in the dehumanisation of Hindu women and the photographs were accompanied with crass language of the highest order. For some reason, the platform does not appear to have taken any action against such accounts spreading communal hatred.

The worst part is such accounts exist not just on Reddit but on Twitter as well. And like Reddit, Twitter accounts have a free run to spread such filth as well. As we had reported earlier, in several images shared by Redditors, Hindu symbols like Om were superimposed on the body of the women supposed to be Hindu, while Islamic symbols like the star and the crescent are superimposed on the men supposed to be Muslims.

The mentality demonstrated by these accounts is precisely the one that furthers crime such as ‘Grooming Jihad’. The sexual predators target women, often from vulnerable backgrounds, and trap them using fake identities before obtaining their photographs in comprising situation. These photographs are then used to blackmail the woman into converting to Islam.

Often, such incidents end in terrible fate for the women, who are murdered or shamed in public by leaking the photographs. It is to curb such cases that laws were implemented against Grooming Jihad by numerous states such as Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat.

Liberals can no longer deny the menace of Grooming Jihad

The widespread prevalence of such accounts demonstrates that liberals can no longer deny the menace of Grooming Jihad. They have thus far denied that such a phenomenon exists altogether. Instead, they accuse the government of targeting interfaith couples through such laws, which is not the case at all.

Only recently, influential liberals on Clubhouse, another social media platform, were heard justifying ‘hate sex‘, saying that ‘hate sex’ can be consensual. The filth seen on Reddit is but the logical next step to the kind of discussion that occur on the pornographic Reddit groups.

Some of the accounts on Reddit have names such as r/dharmikrandis, r/Hinduslutsmuclimcock, r/Muslimbullvshinduslut, r/SanskariSlut, r/hindubitchmuslimbull among others. The intent behind sharing the pornographic images becomes evident by the name themselves.

The most shocking aspect of it all is the dehumanisation of women based on religion. It is a mindset that inevitably leads to violent crimes and not just limited to crimes in cyberspace. The Grooming Gang phenomenon in the West, where girls as young as 11 were targeted based on religion and race by Muslim men of mostly Pakistani and Bangladeshi origin, was driven by precisely this mentality.

The crime here is not limited to sexual objectification of women alone but includes stirring communal tensions, outraging the modesty of women and spreading communal bigotry that could very well lead to violence. Apart from that, numerous cyber crimes have also been committed most likely.

The intent here is to clearly humiliate women of other faiths and consequently, engage in their dehumanization and degradation. The posts are to convince sexual predators that women of other faiths are ‘fair game’ and it is permissible to force themselves upon the women.

It is not difficult to see where such rhetoric would inevitably lead to. We have already seen in regions controlled by Islamic terrorists where women are forced into sexual slavery. There’s very good reason to suspect that some of these accounts are run by people who very well seek to establish Islamic Caliphates in Indian territory where they can push women into sexual slavery or harbour a desire to run off and join Islamic terrorist groups where such practices are already followed.

Social media platforms are failing to curb their misuse

Despite singing paeans to equality and women empowerment, tech companies are failing miserably to curb misuse of their platforms. And it is not limited to Reddit alone. Child pornography material is available on Twitter, for instance. While such platforms work extremely hard to curb the free expression of political opinion, they appear to develop cold feet when it comes to cracking down on abusive material on their platform.

It is unthinkable that Reddit was unaware that its platform was being used to spread such atrocious filth and yet, they appear to have taken no action against them. Twitter, on the other hand, refused to take down child porn because, apparently, it did not violate their policies. Eventually, the platform did remove the same but only after they were threatened by the Department of Homeland Security in the USA.

All of this demonstrates that there’s a deep seated problem in these tech companies. It is a widely acknowledged secret that the censorship powers of social media giants reign supreme. They directly meddled in the US Presidential Elections by blocking news reports that exposed corruption by the Biden family in order to help Joe Biden win the elections. For a long time, they helped brand the Covid-19 lab leak hypothesis a ‘conspiracy theory’ and censored anyone who believed the hypothesis was true.

One would have believed that social media platforms would have engaged in such ventures only after solving the menace of child pornography and the use of internet to commit crimes against women. But that is evidently not the case. While they censor legitimate political expression, they give child pornography and other criminal material a free pass.

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K Bhattacharjee
Black Coffee Enthusiast. Post Graduate in Psychology. Bengali.

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