Women’s Right to Free Speech on Social Media

Almost every day brings to the fore some instance of abuse, harassment and stalking that women face on the internet and on social media specifically. Addressing this doesn’t require more ill drafted, draconian laws like Section 66A of the Information Technology Act which was struck down by the Supreme Court for violating Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution. There are enough laws on the book, introduced mainly after the Justice Verma Committee’s report, that can be used to tackle the menace and protect women’s right to free speech online. The problem however remains one of implementation – how to use these laws effectively to punish and deter those who would abuse, harass or stalk women online. This article by Alok Prasanna is a brief exploration of courses of action, specifically with reference to the recent “Cyber Cell” set up in the Union Ministry of Women and Child Development which, with a bit of imagination and intent, help in the better implementation of these laws.
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