In these last weeks we have been observers of a disgusting phenomena, the one of revenge porn and exchange of child sexual abuse material on Telegram.

This Russian chat was invented by Pavel and Nikolaj Durov, it counts thousand of subscribers.

The main characteristic of this platform is the focus on privacy and anonymity, granted to the subscriber whose informations are protected.

On this app, there are at least 21 “telematic canals” with 50 thousand of subscribers that share sometimes for money sometimes for the approval of the other members paedophile and revenge porn material, photos and videos of non-consenting women and also names, addresses, cellphone numbers, details on the private and professional lives as well as social network profiles.

If you think that this could happen only to those women who sent a private picture to someone or to those who show off their bodies on social media, you are wrong: these canals are full of pictures of faces, women fully covered that are still getting virtually abused and experiencing “slut-shaming”.

Many pictures were modified in order to become complete nudes, without the victim even knowing or being capable of doing anything. That’s the main problem with revenge porn: even if in Italy there is a law which established a 15 thousand euros fine and 6 years of reclusion for those who commit this crime, it’s hardly impossibile to find the perpetrators of these acts.

Shall we blame Telegram for this?

Which are its responsibilities?

In my opinion Telegram has almost no responsibilities.

The service that this chat provides is precious for the freedom of speech, and policies regarding child sexual abuse material have been put in place.

Should there be policies for revenge porn as well? Of course yes , but that wouldn’t diminish the problem.

Even if Telegram ceased  to exist, we would still have to face a harsh but sadly true reality: that we are not safe.

The problem is in our mindset, it is in how we deal with these issues, in how our culture somehow justifies them.

Women have been victimized for centuries by this rape culture and men have too, sometimes in the same way, but mostly in another one.

Men feel scared to expose themselves on these topics, because they are victim of this ideology, of toxic masculinity: if they speak their mind, they wouldn’t be seen in the same way and accepted in the same way as before by “the herd”.

These criminals, these rapers, these assaulters have been justifying themselves by saying that they do this because they are male. 

They have imprisoned in prejudice the whole gender with such a declaration. 

If men don’t proudly take their stand, if they don’t claim their right to be men and reject how these people are trying to shape them in the common ideology, we are lost.

Women can’t fight this battle alone, and this is not a battle of only women, it’s a battle of everyone against the violence of and on every genre.

Let’s not blame the platforms, let’s blame ourselves and let’s start to think on what we can do in order to change this reality.

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