We at SFLC.in have grown increasingly concerned of late by the appreciable spike in instances of online harassment across platforms. Whereas online speech platforms like social media websites, blogs, and discussion forums set the stage for unprecedented levels of public engagement in relevant policy discourses, the widespread prevalence of abusive, threatening, and otherwise hostile content threatens to seriously hinder the efficient utilization of these critical speech platforms.

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On November 22, 2016, we published a report titled “Online Harassment: A Form of Censorship“, which compiles findings from a year of research into the issue, and attempts to provide an insight into the relevant national and socio-political factors influencing exploitative uses of the Internet. It also features narratives from 18 individuals including legislators, policy makers, civil society actors, media professionals, and writers, almost all of whom have had experiences with being targeted for online harassment.

The report was jointly released by Mr. Baijayant Panda (Member of Parliament, Lok Sabha), Mr. Arvind Gupta (National Head, Information and Technology, BJP), Mr. Anyesh Roy [Deputy Commissioner of Police (Cyber Cell), Delhi Police], Mr. Chetan Krishnaswamy (Director, Public Policy, Google India), Ms. Mahima Kaul (Head of Public Policy, Twitter India), Mr. Saikat Datta (Cyber Security Consultant and Consulting Editor, Scroll.in), and Ms. Anja Kovacs (Director, Internet Democracy Project) at an event organized in association with the Digital Empowerment Foundation, Internet Democracy Project, Foundation for Media Professionals, and IT for Change.