LAHORE: The Digital Rights Foundation (DRF) has released a report on the first four months of operation of its cyber harassment helpline.

In the first four months of its operation, the helpline received 513 individual complaints.

Sixty-two per cent of the total number of 535 calls were made by women, whereas 37pc of the callers were men.

Breakdown of cases of cyber harassment by platform.
Breakdown of cases of cyber harassment by platform.

The platform where people faced the most harassment was Facebook and most of the complaints were regarding fake profiles, non-consensual use of information, blackmailing, unsolicited messages and hacked accounts or devices.

The majority of the cases received by the helpline were from Punjab (41.3pc) whereas 23pc individuals did not disclose their location.

Province-wise breakdown of complaints.
Province-wise breakdown of complaints.

The helpline also got calls from Sindh (17.8pc), Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (4.70pc), Balochistan (1.30pc), Azad Kashmir (0.70pc), federal territory (10.10pc) and from outside Pakistan (0.20pc).

Nature of complaints received.
Nature of complaints received.

After assessing the overwhelming number of cases, the report has identified some recommendations for the law-enforcement agencies and the government.

Monthly breakdown of calls attended.
Monthly breakdown of calls attended.

The helpline (0800-39393) was launched on Dec 1, 2016. It is the country’s first dedicated helpline addressing issues of online abuse and violence.

It gives legal advice, digital security support and psychological counseling to victims of online harassment.

Published in Dawn, April 12th, 2017

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