WhatsApp, Facebook Most Frequently Used Apps to Harass Pakistani Women
According to the Digital Rights Foundation (DRF), WhatsApp and Facebook were the most commonly utilised apps in Pakistan to harass women.
DRF, a Pakistani research-focused NGO, has released its annual report on the five-year cyber harassment helpline. The DRF’s helpline for combating online abuse and harassment will reach a five-year milestone in 2022.
In the last five years, the online harassment helpline has received over 11,681 cases. In 2021, there were 4,441 cases received, with an average of 370 instances each month. The months of March and September saw a spike in reports, while the remainder of the year was quite constant. In 2021, 893 complaints were related to blackmail, and 727 incidents on the helpline involved the use of non-consensual photos, according to the study.
Nighat Dad, DRF’s Executive Director, said:
The alarming rate at which incidences of cyber harassment are escalating should serve as a wake-up call for us to take action to make the internet a safe and equal platform for all. We will continue to see and experience the same discriminatory practises against vulnerable groups online unless all relevant parties take structural change measures.
The region’s first specialised helpline against cyber violence and harassment, the cyber-harassment helpline, was opened in December 2016. The toll-free number (0800-39393) is available Monday through Sunday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and includes email and social media help.