Writer Shaheen Bhatt took to her Instagram handle to announce that she will no longer ignore harassment and hate messages on social media. In a strongly worded note that she posted, she will use all available legal recourse to take action against online harassers and reveal their identities.
Shaheen shared a number of hate messages that she has received online, and captioned the post, "Does this surprise you? Why? It does not surprise me." Shaheen is the sister of actress Alia Bhatt.
Shaheen began her note by sharing statistics on violence against women in India, and wrote how certain attitudes contribute to the violence.
Addressing online harassers, she wrote, "If you send me a message with the sole hope (I say hope because I promise you - nothing you say is keeping me up at night) of humiliating, insulting, or bullying me, then the following things will happen."
She continued, "The messages or comments will first be blocked and reported to Instagram directly. You will forfeit the right to your privacy. I will NOT protect your identity. Every shi**y message you send me will - should I choose to - go up for everyone to see. Abusers are not emboldened by their anonymity. I will not help hide you."
Shaheen added, "I will NOT protect your identity. I will use all legal recourse available to take action. If you think you can't be located because you think your account is anonymous, please think again -- IP addresses are easily trackable. You are not invisible. Harassment is a crime."
She concluded by writing that she should not have to change the way she uses a platform if someone if being abusive. But the abusers should.