Netizens are spamming a Malaysian telegram group that shared pictures of women

Remember SG Nasi Lemak?

Well, it seems that Malaysia has its own version of it. But there’s a twist to the story this time.

Over the weekend, Twitter user @_aisyaisa found her pictures posted without her knowledge on a Malaysia group titled “Gadis Melayu” with an under 18 warning sign and the sweat droplets emoji. “Gadis Melayu” is Malaysian and translates to “Malay girls.”

Telegram is a social messaging platform similar to the likes of WhatsApp. On Telegram, however, users are able to invite up to two hundred thousand members into a group chat. There is also the anonymous factor from the platform allowing phone numbers to be hidden from view, enabling members to hide behind pseudonyms.

The telegram group Gadis Melayu 🔞💦.

The Gadis Melayu group was being used to share pictures of fully-covered women from social media for the members’ sexual gratification.

And @_aisyaisa was not having it.

“wtf is this kind of group???? i’m fucking mad. pls help report,” she wrote in her tweet.

And she wasn’t the only one mad that the group has been sharing pictures of women without their consent.

“BOYS ARE FUCKING DISGUSTING I’M SO TIRED ALMOST EVERY FUCKING DAY THERE’S NEWS ABOUT STUPID GUYS DOING THIS YALL DESERVE TO BE IN HELL,” @mishaqstn tweeted.

Netizens retaliate.

But netizens weren’t going to just report the group. Some decided to take matters into their own hands.

How? By not only joining the group, but also memes once they were in.

So many netizens joined the group that it grew the group’s number from 7,255 users to more than 9,000 users.

Unfortunately the group is still open.

Surprisingly, however, the group’s administrators have changed it to a group for fighting fish enthusiasts according to a now-deleted tweet, World of Buzz reported.

Why blame the perpetrators when you can blame the victim?

Although most netizens defended @_aisyaisa and were disgusted at the group’s actions, some still commented that women shouldn’t upload their pictures onto the internet if they didn’t want their pictures to be used as someone’s masturbatory material.

“Why are you angry? Didn’t you upload the picture so people could see? So now that a lot of people have seen it, aren’t you supposed to be happy?

“Don’t post pictures on social media. Otherwise people will save and share.”

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This isn’t the first nor the last time people have accused victims of perpetrating sexual harassment.

Just months ago, Malaysian Pakatan Harapan senator Mohd Imran Abd Hamid claimed that a sexual harassment law needed to be enacted in order to “protect” men who were “seduced” into committing sex crimes such as rape and incest.

“I propose a Sexual Harassment Act to protect men from the actions, words and clothing of women, which can cause men to be seduced to the point they can commit acts such as incest, rape, molestation, (watching) pornography and likewise.

“This is important, we (men) need to be protected. The actions, clothing of women can seduce us into breaking the law and causing us to be charged (with a crime).” he said, according to Malaysiakini.

Although he has since apologized, many Malaysians are still offended by his remarks. A petition calling for the resignation of the senator has been shared with more than 29,000 signatures as of October.

Studies on victim blaming.

The fight to end sexual harassment in progressive politics

Victim blaming occurs when a person holds the opinion that a victim is to be blamed for an assault rather than the perpetrator, according to Harvard Law School’s Harassment Assault Law-Student Team. It is assumed that the victim did something to provoke the violence, whether it be by their actions, words, or the way they dress.

A study published in the Psychology of Women Quarterly suggest that the reason why men seem to side with the male perpetrator more often than the female victim is because of their empathy for other men. Not due to a lack of empathy for women.

Renata Bongiorno, who led the research, said that when participants were asked to focus on the male perpetrator’s point of view, there was greater empathy for him. Vice versa for when there were asked to focus on the female victim’s point of view.

She argued that media depictions often focused too heavily on the potential impact on the accused perpetrators’ future careers and lives, making it harder for victims to speak up.Instead of focusing on the perpetrators, media outlets shifting attention onto the victim’s future might be the way to reducing victim blaming.

“I was encouraged by the second study, where we showed that when men have their attention turned toward the victim, their empathy for the male perpetrator was reduced along with their victim-blaming,” she said. “I think that’s a positive message and way forward for the future.”

And in case you’re wondering about false accusations, a 2012 report by the National Sexual Violence Resource Center found that false reports only occur between two and 10 percent of the time. That is roughly the same amount of false reports regarding theft and robbery.

While netizens have seem to have found a way to stop the Gadis Melayu telegram group, there’s no telling when the next one will pop up.

For now, all we can do as citizens is report groups that are sharing images of innocent victims without their consent. Or you can spam those groups with memes. Whichever way, please believe victims of sexual violence.



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