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Twitter User Claims Ain Husniza’s Selfie Pose Attracts Bad Comments, Netizens Say It’s Victim Blaming

Twitter User Claims Ain Husniza’s Selfie Pose Attracts Bad Comments, Netizens Say It’s Victim Blaming

While it seemed right to some to call out behaviours they don’t agree with, doing so publicly can invite trolls to pile on and veer into cyberbullying.

Adeline Leong

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Student activist Ain Husniza’s recent selfie online has been a target of victim blaming for the way she posed and the clothes she wore.

One Twitter user said she agreed with Ain about making schools safer for students but said Ain invited sexual harassers to pick on her with what she wore and how she posed in her selfie shots.

Screenshot of the Twitter post.

Her comment, which has since been deleted, regarding Ain drew mixed responses from netizens. Some netizens agreed with the user while others said they found nothing wrong with Ain’s pictures.

Some netizens think Ain’s pictures are of a typical teenager taking selfies. It also attracted funny posts such as a man posting up similar pictures of himself to show there was nothing sexual about it.

Regardless of what people’s opinions are, the issue brings to mind what Turkish scholar Mustafa Akyol said in a similar case.

Mustafa Akyol commented in response to Perlis mufti Asri Zainul and the Melaka Islamic religious affairs department’s (JAIM) plans to erect signboards reminding tourists in Pulau Besar to dress modestly.

In general, I believe this wise Quranic teaching about male self-restraint is often disregarded… and the emphasis is put on controlling female behaviour, which can go as extreme as the Taliban’s severe dictates.

Turkish scholar Mustafa Akyol

It can be considered cyberbullying

The Twitter user’s intention to advise Ain might have started with good intentions but doing so publicly could have invited trolls to target Ain more and turn it into a cyberbullying case.

As it happens, it seemed like a few netizens have resorted to passive-aggressive and bullying behaviours in response to the Twitter user.

Right now, Malaysia doesn’t have a specific anti-cyberbullying act but the law relies on Section 211 or 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 to prosecute cyberbullies.

The section states that sharing any obscene, indecent, false, menacing, or offensive content is an offence.

The punishment upon conviction is a fine of not more than RM50,000 or not more than a year of imprisonment or both.

Depending on the crime, cyberbullies can also be charged under the Defamation Act 1957.

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