I come from a Digital Marketing background and we do use paid social media marketing channels to promote our clients brands and products online. In addition I have great interest in Human psychology and Brain Science, as we know social media has gained significant importance in every Indian’s life and is very popular among all age groups men & woman, even our elections are now fought on this digital white boards, all parties today hire Social Media marketing consultants to boost their candidate’s image and change society’s perception.
In India We do hear lot of crimes happening everyday in news, especially harassment and rape against woman is on the rise and as a society we keep blaming the government and our legal system, police, etc… But I see social media channel as plain mirror, it just reflects thoughts of our society we live in.
I decided to conduct a social experiment to check how people behave on social media thinking they are anonymous and they can say and write anything what they like. So zeroed down on Facebook as there could be no other popular media tool which is used by around 241 million users (around 24.1 Cr people) which I understand is a remarkable large number and ideal sample size to be used as test pad.
I created an Dummy profile of professional working woman, age around 30+, added a decent DP picture and shared minimum information, and just added around 10 to 15 random people, just within few days of creating this profile, I saw that I had around 1200+ request to join in span of 7 days. This was astonishing, they did not knew this lady and nor she added them, they were connected to some 10 to 15 people to whom the request was sent prior, this is the power of digital network.
Data on How People Responded
I then decided to accept all the friend request, today she has more than 4900 connections, the moment request was accepted these unknown people started to bug her and this is what they said during first message -
3) Bahut koopsurat Ho
4) Apna number do
5) Photo bhejo
6) Kab miloge
7) and tons of remark on Sex (don’t want to share but you can imagine)
The Facebook profile we created did not respond nor engaged in any communication and later then the messages turned into Sexist remark and became aggressive. Where 99% of them were men’s in age group of 20–45 years of age, so I further decided to explore their profile and create a excel sheet to categorize on some of the information which we collected from Facebook profiles.
This is what data revealed -
1) 45% of people had Religious pictures in their FB picture book
2) 80% of them where mainly from Central & Northern India
3) 25% had some political party affiliation
4) 50% where professionals, while 30% seemed students or educated jobless people, while remaining 20% were difficult to classify as had very little data on their profile to measure occupation.
5) Around 70% connected people were for Sex and somehow wanted to strike a conversation and move forward anyhow.
1) It reflects how the masses are raised by their family and even in society.
2) Sex savvy attitude in such a large number is very strange.
3) We don’t need to blame the government as people have to change their mindsets; it would start from Family and the Society they represent.
4) Facebook needs to add Panic Button on profiles the same way we have on Uber/Ola so anyone who is being harassed can on social media, In addition the person who is harassing gets his profile banned and reported to local police station for investigation.
5) Freedom is a good thing on social media but we needs to have a safer societies as well, online data shows that 24+ Cr people in India are engaged on Facebook.
Just imagine how much harassment would females have, it could be your Wife, Daughter, Sister or Friend. Just imagine how big this problem is now for our Indian society to deal with, as most of our phones shipped are with pre- downloaded social media apps and being digital is also promoted by our government, even the police and cyber crime departments should be equipped to manage such situation.
I would love to hear views from readers on what We as a Society, the Government and the Social Media companies should do to make the society safer.