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Social Media Users Demanding Public Hangings Contributed To Anti-Women Hashtags: Research

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A considerable number of social media users who are supporting public hangings for rapists have used their accounts to participate in the online hate trends against women and minority groups, according to data compiled by a Twitter user.

In a series of tweets, the social media user gave a breakdown of the users who have a history of glorifying violence and their support for the recent calls for public hangings of rapists.

As per the user, “27% users who were propagating ‘a woman shouldn’t travel without a Mehram escorting her’ demanded public hangings of rapists.”

At least 13 per cent of the users who were demanding that women should not go out without a male family member used ‘abusive words’ against women on social media, the data showed.

Out of the people who have a habit of hating on women in online spaces and using cuss words against them, 13 per cent have endorsed the public hangings. Similarly, the people who spewed venom against the Aurat March and trended derogatory twitter trends against women participated in the public hangings trend.

At least 12 per cent users who contributed to a hashtag glorifying the murder of a blasphemy accused in a Peshawar courtroom demanded public hanging for rapists, whereas 14 per cent of the users who endorsed extra-judicial killings over blasphemy accusations also participated in the same trend.

According to the research, “The statistics point toward a relationship between controlling behaviour (like restricting women’s mobility), misogyny and extremism.”

He said: “Quoting religious references to restrict women’s mobility in one tweet and using abusive words against women in other tweet, is something indicative of instrumental use of religion to strengthen patriarchal control.”

“Internalisation of violence has reached a level where a solution to everything seems in more violence,” he said, adding in such a state it was difficult to pursue long-term solutions to grave social issues.

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