5 instances when social media trial had grave consequences
An orthopaedic surgeon was found hanging at his home in Kollam district on Thursday. He was facing harassment on social media after the death of a patient. Kilikollur police filed a case of unnatural death after Dr Anoop Krishna was found dead at his home in Kadappakada. “Sorry” was found written on the walls of the bathroom at his home.
Dr Krishna (35) was being probed in a case of medical negligence after a 7-year-old died during the surgery on 23 September. It is reported that the doctor was harassed on social media platforms over the death. Many doctors came in his support and slammed the “trial by social media” which allegedly led to his decision to take his life. One of the doctors, Dr Sulphi Npphu, wrote on his Facebook wall that Dr Anoop had agreed to surgery after many doctors had declined, perhaps citing coronavirus risks.
This is not the first time when the social media trial has led to an awful consequence. In the past decade, social media has been very prevalent in many important cases.
1. Jasleen Kaur Case
Jasleen Kaur had filed a sexual harassment case against Sarvjeet Singh in 2015 after a dispute between the two at a traffic signal in New Delhi. Delhi Tis Hazari court acquitted Sarvjeet Singh of all charges in October 2019. Kaur had earlier taken to Facebook to share her side of the story alleging harassment by posting Sarvajeet’s picture with it. It garnered massive attention on social media where he was called “Delhi ka Darinda.” Social media, without knowing the details of the case established Sarvjeet a sexual offender. He lost his job, was shamed on social media, went through a mental torture, all because of a fake case and social media trial.
2. Boycott Bollywood
The Sushant Singh case is taking new twists and turns every day even after 100 days of his death. One thing which has been consistent all these days, is that people should Boycott Bollywood. The social media trial based on endless insinuations has given its verdict that people should boycott the Bollywood Industry. It is made to believe through social media that Bollywood and its Drug nexus is the biggest problem of India and it should be boycotted. The social media along with some media channels wants to boycott the Bollywood industry whose whole worth is estimated at Rs 180 billion and is the largest producer of the films across the world. During the boycott campaign, social media users have not been told that the Bollywood industry supports and generates thousands of jobs. What camera persons, technicians, background staff, lights and camera persons, and so and forth, are supposed to do once social media gets its version of #JusticeForSSR? How will these people feed their family?
3. Bois Locker Room
Screenshots of ‘gangrape discussion’ that were leaked from an online group, Bois Locker Room, comprised of largely South Delhi school students had become a major point of debate on social media earlier this year. A one-to-one Snapchat conversation, with one boy suggesting a rape plan on a girl, outraged people on social media. Many women activists and social media users hurled abuse against the members of ‘Bois Locker Room’. The social media trial even led a teenager (a suspected member of the group) to jump from the balcony. However, later it was found that it was a girl who called out for a rape. The girl was pretending to be a boy who suggested sexual assault plan to check the boy’s reaction and test his character. The boy had declined to participate in any such plan and stopped further communication with the girl who was pretending to be a boy.
4. JNU case
The sedition case against Kanhaiya Kumar and Umar Khalid was hugely debated on social media. Without any evidence, Kanhaiya had to go under a social media trial where he was called a terrorist, pro-Pakistani, anti-India, Khan-market gang, anti-national and many more things. He was arrested only because he was the President of the Student Union in JNU and anti-India slogans were raised in the JNU campus. Despite condemning the anti-India slogan incident, Kanhaiya has been a prime target on social media for the right-wing supporters. The social media trail resulted in several goons entering the court premises and attacking Kanhaiya Kumar. The left-wing politician is still harassed on social media on a regular basis
5. Tablighi Jamaat
During the initial days of COVID-19, Tablighi Jamaat incident shook India as many people who took part in the religious gathering were found positive for coronavirus. The incident was highlighted in the news and hence social media got the attention of this incident. Various types of misinformation, fake news, fake videos started going viral on social media to target a specific community. This led to many poor and innocent people (of a specific religion) facing discrimination across the country. Vegetable and fruit sellers of a specific community were banned from entering colonies.
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