Take action against voyeuristic accounts on social media

Posed photo of a man using a laptop.
Posed photo of a man using a laptop.PHOTO: THE NEW PAPER

It has been about four months since news broke about the racy social media account SgInstaBabes, which was shut down (Man under fire for racy subscription scheme; Aug 30, 2018). However, it worries me to see that similar accounts still exist.

One such account posts pictures of female students supposedly without their consent or knowledge. Pictures started going up in October last year and, as of Jan 5, the account has close to 2,000 followers on Instagram.

It is disturbing to see that photos of young girls are being misused this way. Not only were photos posted, but the account holder has also written lewd captions for some of them. Pictures were also put up as Instagram stories for followers to rate the girls' appearances.

A friend of mine was traumatised to find that her photo had been posted without her consent.

Judging from the account's description, it appears that the pictures were submitted by users.

Hence, it is highly possible that users obtained the pictures from the girls' social media accounts without their permission.

Can the authorities clarify if such actions run afoul of the law?

What are the rules surrounding personal photos being misused and sexually exploited on social media?

Is this also considered an act of sexual harassment, and should legal action apply to the people posting or submitting such photos?

The authorities should investigate such voyeuristic platforms and action should be taken against those behind such pages.

Sean Lim Wei Xin

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 08, 2019, with the headline 'Take action against voyeuristic accounts on social media'. Print Edition | Subscribe