Some things are just not funny. They can never be funny. Like jokes about groping someone or behaving inappropriately in the name of pranks.
Time and again Bollywood has glorified and normalised this behaviour and now we have videos on YouTube that show Indian women being wrongly touched and groped in public places for the purposes of pranks.
This was recently brought to light by a verified Twitter account Youth Against Rape.
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! @NCWIndia @rsprasad @PrakashJavdekar @sharmarekha @DCP_CCC_Delhi #CensorPranks pic.twitter.com/55rTgRNf5d— Youth Against Rape ® (@yaifoundations) March 10, 2021
They posted several videos showing sexual abuse and groping in public in the name of pranks and screenshots of other distasteful videos that were apparently viewed by millions of people on YouTube.
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?@NCWIndia @rsprasad #CensorPranks pic.twitter.com/337QeeDXd4— Youth Against Rape ® (@yaifoundations) March 10, 2021
These thumbnails are self-explanatory and disgusting to the core. Just looking at them is giving me cringe and more than that it's making me angry. How is this even content? And if this is content then there's something seriously wrong with the way we consume and create digital content.
The content that has attracted a large audience on YouTube is being widely criticised on Twitter and people are demanding action against such content creators.
This is filth, In the name of Prank, those content creators are spreading the filth.— Elif Fazlani (@EFazlani) March 14, 2021
Girls are being touched publicly for such filthy content & our ministers are quite. @PrakashJavdekar @rsprasad Can you please take any action on those so-called content creators? @NCWIndia ? https://t.co/E1j3ciqUyz
@NCWIndia Please take cognizance. These are only a few shown here; social media is full of such people. It doesn't take long for this to become 'normal' for people to #harass others (men & women) openly as these videos become publicly accepted as "mere #pranks"#womenempowerment? https://t.co/CKq6bQRy0Z— TwitTwat (@TwitTwa33455658) March 12, 2021
What rubbish idea is this???? How on earth is this a prank?? https://t.co/NdGi23ybtd— Uttara (@cradle1112) March 12, 2021
Pranksters harassing the girl and thinking they have created content. Kids watching their video and learning nasty things please look into this.#censorpranks@PrakashJavdekar @rsprasad#CensorPranks https://t.co/f3QppbqqOf— Deepanshu (@18a445b224e648d) March 10, 2021
What have we come to? Women’s dignity has become a joke https://t.co/onLXy2cAVz— Mazna Mansoor (@MaznaMansoor) March 11, 2021
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
This is exactly what happens when bachhe padhai chor k utube content creator bante h— Priya Malhotra (@PriyaMa27620655) March 11, 2021
Content k naam p cringe
Consent ar decency ye words to inki dictionary m hi ni😡 https://t.co/mArAqUczRE
The tweet is obviously viral now and Rekha Sharma, Chairperson of National Commission of Women (NCW) took cognisance of the matter. Responding to the tweet, she wrote:
They have apparently taken up the matter with YouTube India and the Cyber Cell.
@NCWIndia has taken cognizance of the matter and the Commission is in touch with @YouTubeIndia. The Commission has been informed by @YouTubeIndia that the matter is being looked into on priority. https://t.co/YJZEefMqnE— NCW (@NCWIndia) March 10, 2021
Also taken up with the cyber cell. https://t.co/44Xo1kRNaz— Rekha Sharma (@sharmarekha) March 10, 2021
It's good that those in authority took cognisance of the matter but the question still remains. Are we trying to normalise sexual abuse in the name of pranks? Have we gone mad in the desparation to gain more followers? What message such vile content sends out to viewers?
And most importantly who are the people watching this? On one side we are striving to make our country safer for women and on the other hand we are encouraging such disgusting videos.
Which brings me to my point again: Joking about sexual assault, with or without consent, is not funny. It will never be.