- Sexist hate speech
- Cyber bullying
- Cyber Harassment
- Cyber Stalking
- Digital voyeurism or Creep shots
- Revenge Porn
- Online Impersonation
While the abusers use different tactics and means, the goal remains the same: embarrassing, humiliating, scaring, threatening and silencing women. Following are types of cybercrimes against women, which are required to be discussed for assessing the gravity of the situation:
types of cybercrimes against women
Sexist hate speech
Council of Europe defines it as “expressions which spread, incite, promote or justify hatred based on sex”. These are typically the threats of rape, death and torture that women and girls can receive because they carry the stereotypes enforced by the culture of rape and patriarchy.
Cyber bullying is the use of technology to bully a person or group with the intent to hurt them socially, psychologically or even physically. Cyber bullying is defined by Smith et al. as an “aggressive, intentional act carried out by a group or individual, using electronic forms of contact, repeatedly and overtime against a victim who cannot easily defend himself or herself”. It takes place over digital devices like cell phones, computers, and tablets. Cyber bullying can occur through SMS, Text, and apps, or online in social media, forums, or gaming where people can view, participate in, or share content. Cyber bullying includes sending, posting, or sharing negative, harmful, false, or mean content about someone else. The Global Youth Online Behaviour Survey conducted by Microsoft ranked India third in cyber bullying, with 53% of the respondents, mainly children admitting to having experienced online bullying, falling behind only China and Singapore. Suicide cases related to cyber bullying have increased significantly in the last decade.
It is harassment by means of email, text (or online) messages or the internet. It can take many forms, including but not limited to: unwanted sexually explicit online messages; inappropriate or offensive advances on social networking websites or internet chat rooms; threats of physical and/or sexual violence by online messages; Hate speech, de-meaning language that denigrates, insults, threatens or targets an individual based on her identity (gender) and other traits (such as sexual orientation or disability).
Cyber stalking is the act of online spying, fixing or compiling somebody’s information and communicate with them against their will. This is one of the most popular crimes in the online world.
Doxing refers to the online researching and publishing of private information on the internet to publicly expose and shame the person targeted.
Digital voyeurism or Creep shots
“Creep shots consist of perpetrators surreptitiously taking photos or videos of women’s private areas for the purpose of sexual gratification. In some cases, the act of taking the image without the victim’s knowledge, and the subsequent violation of their privacy and agency, is what provides the sexual gratification”. Creep shots are then posted on the web, sometimes with hash tags such as #up skirting.
Revenge porn has been defined by the government as “the sharing of private, sexual materials, either photos or videos, of another person without their consent and to cause embarrassment or distress”. Additional personal information will often be included with the published images or videos. This combination may leave a person vulnerable and may endanger them. It is psychologically harmful to the victim at least. The numbers speak for themselves: in January 2017 alone, Facebook had to evaluate 54,000 potential cases of revenge porn and close more than 14,000 accounts.
Online impersonation is the use of someone else’s name or identity with the intention of harming, defrauding, intimidating or threatening anyone. The impersonation can be used to discredit targeted women with their social and professional peers or for criminal purposes similar to theft of offline identity. Legal provisions to combat cyber-crimes against women and girls Most cybercrimes are not covered by existing laws in the country. The perpetrators are booked under various sections as understood to be appropriate by the police personnel.