“A girl started rape talk on snapchat”. This statement had popped up one day on my Instagram handle and soon it was trending on all social media platforms. As I was curious to know what had happened, I started to surf the internet and all social media platforms, after all, times are changing where anything is possible! It was the middle of a lockdown in 2020 in India when this news was trending. What was really understood was that it was an Instagram scandal, allegedly involving a chat room of teenage boys from Delhi.

What really happened no one knows except for that girl. According to the news that was trending, a group of South Delhi teens (mostly schoolboys) had created an Instagram group chat called ‘Bois Locker Room’ to share photos of women (many of them underage) actively slut-shamed and body-shamed minor girls’ photos and even discussed rape!! I am astonished to read such things and think that teenager boys (& girls) have this kind of mentality. The blame I would like to give is fast growing smartphones in hands of the children from a young age. Adults give smartphones or watch some kind of intimate scene in front of children on TV during a web-series and this creates some sort of reaction in the minds of teenage people as their body and mind is growing at the same time. While the incident happened on Snapchat and as among the screenshots that went viral amid the boys locker room debate , it was not part of the Instagram group chat ‘Bois Locker Room’. Confused??

Days, after a private Instagram chat went viral on social media, leading to arrests and investigations, three persons had been arrested with regard to the case including its adult admin and a juvenile member. Upon investigation, it was found that a girl impersonated a boy named ‘Sidharth’ to fake plan her own rape. When Delhi Police’s Cyber Cell revealed that one of the screenshots that had gone viral during the “boys locker room” debate, in which a boy allegedly threatened a minor girl with rape, was in fact sent by the girl in question herself . In the conversation, a boy called “Sidharth” can be seen planning an assault on a minor girl while speaking to another boy. The other boy, however, refuses to participate in the discussion . The Snapchat conversation was indeed staged by a woman who reportedly wanted to “test the boy’s character”. But it was not part of the “Bois Locker Room” chat on Instagram and it was found that none of the 27 boys identified from the group were part of any conversations that went viral on Snapchat. Again confused? Well, the chat on Snapchat and the ones on Instagram were not the same.

The Snapchat conversation went viral after the boy who received the messages from “Sidhart” shared its screenshot with his friends as well as the girl herself and at the same time screenshots from the “Bois Locker Room” chat on Instagram also went viral. The girl, being aware of the fact that the account of ‘Siddharth’ that is suggesting sexual assault was fake and created by her, did not report it to anyone . When the “Bois Locker Room” Instagram screenshots were revealed to others and started circulating on social media, the alleged Snapchat conversation also got mixed with it due to its sensational nature and due to its availability in different student groups . The social media platforms were flooded with defense for the boys in the “Bois Locker Room” with netizens sharing the story as the “truth” about the boys locker room incident. There were also a lot of memes with one of them reading like : “Bois locker room chat was initiated by a girl but no one will say anything to her as she would be supported by the feminist” with a picture of actor Pankaj Tripathi on it.

This case became the first legal case to come out of an Instagram chat in India. For those who still do not know the Rules of Facebook & Instagram, the company in its website under “Community Standards”, had long ago made policies which read as follows: “We created the Community Guidelines so you can help us foster and protect this amazing community. By using Instagram, you agree to these guidelines and our Terms of Use. We’re committed to these guidelines and we hope you are too. Overstepping these boundaries may result in deleted content, disabled accounts, or other restrictions” .

In conclusion, I would like to say that a girl who was in her teens who only wanted to check her teen male friend’s character created a lot of confusion and at the same time brought criticism from many people in India on social media platforms. That girl would not have imagined that her “fake identity” would create a lot of trouble for her as well as her teen male friends. This incident has raised serious questions about the mindset of youngsters, their use of social media and the way forward. According to Mahalakshmi Rajagopal, a psychologist, things like Bois locker room & Snapchat conversation, there was a complete lack of sex education, gender sensitisation and sensitivity among teenagers. According to Dr. Kumar, there is a need for sexual education and not just sex education among children. The ‘Bois Locker Room incident’ should act as a tale of caution.

Aishwarya Says:

I have always been against Glorifying Over Work and therefore, in the year 2021, I have decided to launch this campaign “Balancing Life”and talk about this wrong practice, that we have been following since last few years. I will be talking to and interviewing around 1 lakh people in the coming 2021 and publish their interview regarding their opinion on glamourising Over Work.

If you are interested in participating in the same, do let me know.

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The copyright of this Article belongs exclusively to Ms. Aishwarya Sandeep. Reproduction of the same, without permission will amount to Copyright Infringement. Appropriate Legal Action under the Indian Laws will be taken.

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