Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Posting Snaps on Social Networks may have led to Honour Killing

A young lad of twenty was brutally stabbed to death as he walked a desolate stretch to his home in an upper middleclass part of Delhi. There are no clues yet as to the reason of his murder, but popular theory has it that he was murdered in an apparent honour killing. 

According to Wikipedia Human Rights Watch defines "honor killings" as " Honor killings are acts of vengeance, usually death, committed by male family members against female family members, who are held to have brought dishonor upon the family. A woman can be targeted by (individuals within) her family for a variety of reasons, including: refusing to enter into an arranged marriage, being the victim of a sexual assault, seeking a divorce—even from an abusive husband—or (allegedly) committing adultery. The mere perception that a woman has behaved in a way that "dishonors" her family is sufficient to trigger an attack on her life"

Girls and boys chatting and posting photographs on social networking sites could potentially be a trigger for "honour killing" or domestic violence not amounting to death. In the future, as the younger generation embraces the Internet sharing of information that could potential trigger such situations will rise. The number of recorded honour killings is less that 5000 a year, but the incidents of domestic violence as a result of lack of privacy on social networking is largely unrecorded.
 In certain countries, caste plays a key role in family honour and this disease leads rational individuals to commit irrational acts. Photo’s of a boy and girl together on a social network site, particularly one with no privacy settings may provoke incidents, however rare.  The family may feel aggrieved that the relationship is openly promoted in an online world which may diminish the marriage prospects of their child, particularly a daughter in the Indian system of arranged marriages.
While such action rarely leads to a major crime, the impact of minor transgressions when friends post unwanted photographs on social network is a common problems.  It may be as simple as a friend viewing snaps of a private party for which he was not invited posted by an another friend who was. This may sully his relationship with the host.
Privacy settings on social sites are a simple but key responsibility for all users to safeguard themselves from unwanted consequences both large and small. Individuals who fear that their action may lead to such consequence should be careful of what details they expose on social networks.

1 comment:

  1. Speculative scare mongering. Until there is proof, what might be is just a guess.