There are more than 37,000 pictures that have been shared under the hashtag ‘Couple Challenge’ on Instagram alone. But what does this challenge actually mean?
By using this hashtag, netizens have been celebrating their relationships online by sharing pictures with their spouses and partners. A lot of memes also surfaced online on social media where people were using editing softwares like Photoshop to digitally insert themselves into pictures with their favourite celebrities.
Local law enforcement authorities, like the Nagpur Police, have even used the challenge to share memes that promote good practices during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, such as the use of face masks.
While this may seem like a harmless trend, the police have now started warning netizens against participating in the #CoupleChallenge. The Pune police in their recent Twitter post said that people need to think twice before sharing their images on social media. The pictures could be morphed, edited and used for pornography and other cyber crimes.
Police personnel said that they had already received a number of complaints from people who had suffered harassment as their pictures and personal information were misused.
Some claimed that their images were morphed and uploaded on “obscene websites” by a few criminal elements. Police Inspector Jayram Paigude of the Cyber police station told reporters that people should be cautious before posting their personal information on social media as it could fall for exploitation by third party sources.
The practice of cyberbullying, “deep fakes” and revenge porn are unfortunately not uncommon. Cybercrime officials in India have been tracking apps and websites that have been known to produce nude photographs of innocent people using AI algorithms. These images are often shared by criminals without the person’s consent on pornographic websites.