Reacting to a complaint on prank videos on Youtube, National Commission for Women (NCW) chairperson Rekha Sharma has promised to take into cognizance the videos which show women being sexually harassed in the name of pranks. A Twitter account by the name of Youth Against Rape had posted a compilation of many videos which showed women in public places being groped, wrongly touched, picked up, hugged and made sexual comments on. These videos are reportedly very popular and have been watched many times.
Posting a few videos from the Youtube, the Twitter handle wrote, “Guess what’s the new trend? Sexual abuse in the name of pranks! The easiest way to invade consent and earn money on YouTube, is by starting a prank channel! It’s the most viewed content by Indians!”
This comes in the wake of after the central government announced new rules to curb social media platforms being misused for wrongful content. The draft proposal also requires companies to appoint a chief compliance officer, another executive for coordinating on law enforcement, and a ‘grievance redressal officer’ within 3 months from the date of publication of these rules.
This is however not the first time such videos have been posted or watched by millions on Youtube. There have been several such complaints against such social media content that are watched and subscribed by users.
The Twitter handle, which is a verified account also went on to add how many of these are staged and the people involved give their consent to show such explicit content.
“The best part is that we Indians, love their content and make sure they cross millions of views for such entertainment! Don’t you think everyone will turn to make more such content now? So, who’s at fault?”, the handle tweeted, tagging Union Minister Ravi Shankar prasad and NCW India’s Twitter accounts.
Reacting to NCW’s reply to it, several twitter users also commented on the immediate need to regulate Youtube’s content.
Regulating YouTube is need of an hour.— No idea who (@serialchillerr_) March 10, 2021
Touching or kissing without consent isn't the norm or acceptable in West either. We aren't holier than anyone else. Some of these women in the videos are willing participants. Although the crude/lewd behavior is disgusting, they have a ready audience waiting to boost viewership.— Deepti (@MeDamselDee) March 10, 2021
Many users also pointed out that even if the videos are scripted, it gives out a very wrong message on violating consent of women.
Please do it. Even if the women involved are informed and the act is scripted, it sets out a message that violating consent in the name of 'prank' is justified. Please ensure urgent intervention and remedial measures.— आनन्द प्रकाश चौधरी (@AnandPr96234220) March 10, 2021
Although Youtube’s guidelines specifically spell out to remove such content that violate their community guidelines, often such videos have gone undetected and are watched by many on the platform, making them very popular.
In 2017, a Youtuber was detained by the Delhi Police after he posted videos of randomly walking up to women and kissing them. The accused had over 150,000 subscribers on his channel and said that the video did not mean to intentionally hurt anyone and was just ‘for entertainment’.