- "Abusers are emboldened by their anonymity," wrote Shaheen Bhatt
- "You will forfeit the right to your privacy," she added
- "I have to draw boundaries in my own life," wrote Shaheen
Shaheen Bhatt, on Monday night, shared a few screenshots of the hate messages, rape and death threats she and her actress sister Alia Bhatt have been receiving on Instagram and captioned it: "Does this surprise you? Why? It doesn't surprise me." In a strongly-worded series of Instagram stories, Shaheen Bhatt called out the Instagram users responsible for sending the hateful messages and said that she will expose and report any person who sends her inappropriate messages on social media. "I will use all legal recourse available to me to take action," she wrote.
Shaheen Bhatt, after much deliberation, decided to share the screenshots on social media. "I wondered for days whether or not this was something I should address," she wrote. Shaheen added, that she wishes to create a world where women are "not threatened, sexualised or subjected misogynistic slurs." She added, "I debated whether it was worth the effort it would take because ugh, why waste time and even 1% of mental processor power on this. But then I realised, if I believe that the world should be a place in which women can feel safe and exist without being constantly threatened, sexualised or subjected sexist/misogynistic slurs with the sole intent to humiliate them - if I believe women should be treated like humans. Then that's a world I have to help create. And in order to create that world I have to draw boundaries in my own life and pursue action no matter how annoying or time consuming or downright sad it is."
Addressing the online bullies, Shaheen wrote that she will not protect their identities and will resort to any "legal recourse available" to take action. "Every sh**ty message you send me will - should I choose to - go up for everyone to see. Abusers are emboldened by their anonymity. I will not help hide you. I will use all legal recourse available to me to take action. If you think you can't be located because your account is anonymous, please think again - IP addresses are easily trackable. You are not invisible. Harassment is a crime."
Shaheen schooled the trolls on the consequences that could follow if they continue to send her hate messages. "So, I speak now to those of you who think it's okay to send me or anyone messages full of hate: If you send me a message with the sole hope (I say hope because I promise you -nothing you say is keeping me up at night) of humiliating, insulting, or bullying me, then the following things will happen - The messages or comments will first be blocked and reported to Instagram directly. - You will forfeit the right to your privacy. I will not protect your identity," read an excerpt from Shaheen's post.
In her note, Ms Bhatt also addresses Instagram and added that she shouldn't have to change the way she uses the platform if someone is being abusive. "To Instagram - you have zero tolerance policies for a lot of the content that people put up on your platform - I think it's fair to say that misogynistic slurs, intended to subdue and oppress should fall under the umbrella of your zero tolerance community guidelines. But if you don't want to receive abusive message turn off your message requests. Tired of being called a b*tch in your comments? Turn off your comments. Asking me to change the way I use a platform because of someone else's hatred and misogyny is the equivalent of telling me that if I go out at night and get assaulted I was asking for it. I should not have to change the way I use a platform if someone is being abusive. They should. Full stop," wrote Shaheen Bhatt.
Shaheen Bhatt, her filmmaker father Mahesh Bhatt and their family have been trolled massively over few weeks for encouraging nepotism in the industry. Last week, Shaheen's sister and actress Pooja Bhatt talked about nepotism and how the Bhatts have always introduced new talent in the industry in a series of tweets. Earlier, Bollywood actress Sonam Kapoor also slammed photo sharing platform Instagram for not censoring a vile comment aimed at her sister Rhea Kapoor.
Alia Bhatt and Shaheen Bhatt are the daughters of filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt and actress Soni Razdan. In 2018, Shaheen Bhatt revealed she battled depression and on World Mental Health Day the same year, she launched her debut book I've Never Been (Un)Happier, in which she opened up about dealing with depression.