The Internet saw a massive spike in content related to mental health for weeks after the alleged suicide of Bollywood actor Sushant Singh Rajput. Numerous posts were shared about being kind to one another and hearing others out. Instagram and Facebook were flooded with posts related to depression and its causes.
Cut to the present, many demeaning messages and posts about Rhea Chakraborty are making rounds on the Internet. “I will make sure you will be raped and murdered”, “You bitch! Commit suicide; otherwise, I will send people to kill you sooner or later,” are a few of them we found on the Internet.
There are many Anti-Cyber Bullying Laws in India, and cyber-crime departments across the nation are taking steps to curb such crimes. What amuses me is the ease with which such posts are being shared. Mindless forwarding of WhatsApp texts and Instagram posts are changing our reality with unreal (fake) news.
Sushant’s death might not be suicide. Rhea Chakraborty might have something to do it, or she might have no connection to it as well. There might be other big names involved in the death, or it might have been a suicide. These are all mere speculations. There are several screenshots of messages between various key people involved conveniently available online. But It’s not for us to construct a reality based on distorted information that we have at hand.
Social Media trial, as in the case of Rhea Chakraborty, shows how glaring the problem of digital illiteracy is. The Internet is a double-edged sword, and data on social media platforms have a real-time impact. In this technology-driven world, digital literacy is essential to harness the power vested in our fingertips.