What do we understand by this phrase? The literal translation is “Think before you speak”. Think about the consequences, think about how you are wording your thoughts, think about who you are addressing, think about whether you need to speak out loud at all.
With the perforation of social media deep into our personal and professional lives, this phrase assumes new meaning. While earlier, social media was limited to an ‘elite’ group which had access to internet, today having accounts on major social media platforms is akin to having a voter identity card or a passport!
While our real life relationships are often cemented online, and we find new forums and outlets to express our ideas and share our interests, what has also crossed the bridge from offline to online, is violence, of all kinds. Identity theft, bullying, stalking, harassment, child sexual abuse, name-calling – these are not just crimes which take place in the physical space, but are also increasing exponentially in the online spaces.
At Centre for Social Research, we have been closely working with Facebook (via our project #SocialSurfing) and Twitter (via #TweeSurfing), in reaching out to the youth across our country, to promote counter speech, and make them aware of safe online behavior. We talk about privacy settings, cyber crimes, sharing information cautiously, counterspeech to tackle trolling and verbal abuse, and using social media for the benefit of oneself and society. Today, on 25th November, we launch our #SochKeBol #सोचकेबोल campaign, to raise awareness about online safety, the sad rise of cyber crimes, and ways to prevent and end these. We invite you all to participate in our special activities during these 16 days. These 16 days are significant, because every year from 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, to 10 December, Human Rights Day, United Nations marks 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence. This campaign is a time to galvanize action to end violence against women and girls around the world.
Here are the ways in which you can participate in this campaign:
- Share a video of yourself, elucidating your thoughts on what #SochKeBol #सोचकेबोल means for you, and how you feel this campaign is relevant.
- Take a photo of yourself, family, and friends, with the hashtag #SochKeBol #सोचकेबोल
- Participate in our photo competition: This requires three participants and you just need to depict this simple message “Bura mat like karo/Bura mat type karo/Bura mat share karo” in any way you like- be as creative as possible!
- Pen down your thoughts- send in blogs on the issue of online safety, counterspeech, cyber crime, and we will publish those on our Social Surfing and Gender Matters blogs!
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