Was Asked When Will I Kill Myself: Actor Swastika on Cyberbullying

Swastika Mukherjee speaks up about her recent experience with cyberbullying and social media toxicity. 

2 min read

Video Editor: Kunal Mehra

Actor Swastika Mukerjee has taken to social media to post a strong note about online abuse. She began by saying that after her Dil Bechara co-star Sushant Singh Rajput's demise, a news report had falsely quoted her as saying that “suicides are now in fashion”. "Following this, there were fierce online attacks on me including rape and death threats," she says.

In an exclusive interview to The Quint, Mukherjee speaks up about her recent experience with cyberbullying, social media toxicity and how promptly netizens spew hate. Laughing, she said that she had told the Kolkata Cyber Crime branch that if she has to report all the cases of cyberbullying that she faces online, then the branch will have to open up a separate department just to attend to her.

Mukherjee said that people are quick to react after reading just the headlines and spew hate on others on social media without even verifying the facts.

“After the fake news incident, thousands of people commented on my posts asking me when am I going to commit suicide, what rope am I going to use and will someone be present there to film me.”
Swastika Mukherjee, Actor

She believes that the core reason behind cyberbullying and trolling on social media is that fact that “people think they can get away with it”. She says, “this getting-away-with-it attitude is what gives them power.” This, she believes, leads them to openly make videos threatening people with rape or acid attacks.

Another reason which she believes gives way to cyberbullying is lack of reporting. She says that often women are embarrassed and ashamed to disclose the details of the threats they receive.

“Just complaining to the authorities is not enough. It doesn’t end there. You will have to go to court to present your statement. You will have to follow through with the case till the end.” 
Swastika Mukherjee, Actor

"Cyberbullying takes a toll on not only your own mental health but also the mental health of your family,” Mukherjee sighs before continuing to share how she was “shaking” and her hands were “trembling” after she was informed that she was misquoted.

She firmly hopes that her reporting the incidents of cyberbullying can set an example and instil courage in other women so that they, too, can come out and report it.

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