Online Murder

Integrity stands as the paramount virtue we all possess throughout our lives. Crafting a reputable standing in society is a lifelong endeavour. Through years of tenacious effort, an individual, committed to the principles of fair play, earns the social esteem for which a person of integrity lives and, if need be, sacrifices.
In the annals of history, we encounter exemplars who adhered to the highest standards of integrity even amidst the most formidable challenges in their lives.
Integrity is akin to an enduring fragrance that accompanies an individual. The pursuit of upholding a virtuous character entails unwavering struggles in life. It compels a person to reject malevolent inclinations and steadfastly embrace honesty in their pursuits.
A person of integrity draws strength from the acknowledgment by society as a dependable individual. This sense of recognition instills pride and empowers them to uphold their virtue, disregarding alluring yet corruptible offers that may come their way.
Conversely, those cognisant of their lack of inherent values, unrecognised by society as genuine individuals, engage in wrongdoing without apprehension of social ostracism. Such individuals sow disorder and wreak havoc on societal fabric, becoming direct catalysts for social decline.
Individuals embodying the virtues of robust character endure trials to attain the intrinsic merit of a dependable and trustworthy person. It becomes incumbent upon society to safeguard such individuals, for they shape communities through actions rooted in the propagation of morals and ethics.
In the era predating social media, tarnishing one’s character demanded concrete evidence, making it challenging to strip oneself of social worth and respectability. However, since the advent of social media, undermining the reputations of those who toil to build it has become an effortlessly destructive pursuit.
Individuals create fictitious profiles and hurl unfounded accusations at those with whom they harbour personal grievances. This contemporary phenomenon amplifies the peril to one’s character, illustrating the dark side of a technological age where character assassination has become a common occurrence. Engaging in character assassination through online means is tantamount to digitally murdering individuals’ reputations. Much like terrorists, those who level baseless accusations to fulfil personal vendettas exploit social media as a tool to achieve their malicious objectives. Similar to terrorists targeting innocent civilians for maximum impact, these individuals aim to destroy others’ social standings while concealing their identities behind the virtual curtain.
The insidious nature of this practice extends further, as these social media profiles are often deceptive, and the victim endures relentless brutality until their online image is unjustly tarnished.
Sadly, only a fraction of victims achieve justice and establish their innocence. The majority continues to endure baseless accusations, with the perpetrators acting with impunity.
Many occurrences attest to the reality that individuals who level accusations on social media with the intent of gaining unjust advantages often find it challenging to substantiate these claims.
This pervasive social behaviour has saturated our online platforms with such harmful profiles, seemingly created solely to victimise others. The irony lies in that those who fall prey to such victimisation have often invested substantial effort throughout their lives to build a reputable name.
Labelling this phenomenon as “online murder” emphasises its gravity. While traditional murder involves depriving a person of physical existence in the world, online murder entails stripping individuals of their online survival rights—particularly their respect and credibility.
Our societal conduct is predominantly molded by the apprehension of cultivating a commendable character—a character synonymous with the utmost standards of morality and ethics. This adherence to a defined code of conduct fosters behaviours that are advantageous for the collective good of society.
Additionally, the yearning to garner respect within society serves as a motivating force, compelling individuals to engage in benevolent actions that contribute positively to the welfare of everyone. However, when individuals of goodwill are consistently subjected to social media victimisation, their inclination to contribute to social welfare diminishes. Consequently, society becomes vulnerable to the encroachment of falsehood and deception.
Assessing people’s social behaviours readily distinguishes authentic heroes from true villains. The prospect of striving for respect based on moral foundations becomes bleak if it can be obliterated by an anonymous social media post.
Our trajectory is heading toward a societal breakdown, with those upholding their character and resilience against evil tendencies, at risk of confronting malevolent conspiracies. The direct consequence unfolds for women and girls who bear the honour of their families. Frequently, women and girls endure silence, while those with criminal intent exploit social media as a means to menace them.
As a society, we must rouse ourselves to address the rampant misuse of social media. We all share this collective space, and it is high time to assert robust control over the platform.
The country’s constitution extends every citizen the right to live without the constant threat of victimisation through such means. Even criminals are entitled to a fair trial, yet social media has evolved into a weapon, branding individuals guilty of actions they never envisioned.
This grim reality demands swift action from the state against all fraudulent social media profiles. Urgent measures are needed to curb this misuse and uphold the constitutional rights of citizens.
Immediate legislation is crucial to thwart the creation of deceptive profiles on social media. Such laws would act as a deterrent, dissuading hate mongers from spreading malice and false information about others. Additionally, it would instil a sense of security among individuals in the face of these malevolent forces on social media.
The public, too, must vociferously denounce these practices and actively resist the negative deployment of social media. This is imperative because failing to stem this tide could subject us to the curse of such practices in our lifetime.
Describing online character assassination as a form of “online murder” underscores the gravity of the situation. Recognising this severity is paramount before it escalates further. Should the state falter in addressing this issue, citizens might be compelled to resort to direct conflict to seek justice, ushering in a doomsday scenario for society.

The writer is a civil servant. He can be reached 
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