A police report has been lodged against a Telegram group comprising 40,000 male members, sharing photos and personal details of women, without their consent.

The All Women’s Action Society (AWAM) and several victims, who have had their pictures and details circulated in the group, lodged the report at the Bukit Aman police headquarters at 11am today.

According to AWAM, the Telegram group, called V2K, shares women's and girls' photos - ranging from selfies and vacation pictures, to nudes and other intimate shots, together with the female's personal information, such as phone numbers, social media handles and even home addresses, without consent. This then reportedly leads to the victims being harassed by strangers.

Since the issue broke last Oct 1, AWAM has received at least 20 complaints from women saying their pictures are being circulated on the said group, added the women's rights group.

Besides sharing the photos and personal details without consent, the group members, ranging from boys as young as 15, to university students, and wealthy businessmen, also use the information as a commodity to barter for other girls' personal information, it has been found.

The group is also reportedly used as a transaction hub for paid nudes, hidden camera footage, lifetime subscription to pornographic material, and even child pornography, said Awam.

In calling for action against the group, AWAM's programme and operations manager, Nisha Sabanayagam, said that several girls who had fallen victim to the group's perverted cause has tried to fight back, by infiltrating the group and trying to report it, but they have somehow been uncovered, and threatened by the group's administrators and members in return.

The matter has hit home for most, as they have found either the pictures of their loved female family members being shared on the platform, or their male family members being a part of the disgusting group.

There is an online petition on change.org, urging for this group to be taken down, and so far, it has garnered more than 14,600 signatures.

Screenshots of conversations between the group members, justifying their disgusting behaviour by saying that the victims should be "thankful" that they are not raped instead, are also being circulated by those who are protesting against the group.

A complaint against V2K has since been lodged with the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC), but those behind the group have reportedly become aware of the matter and created "backup" accounts on other social media platforms. They are also guiding each other on how to stay anonymous and to avoid getting caught by using burner numbers, VPN (virtual private network) among other, said AWAM.

The MCMC said that it is liaising with Telegram, which is not based in Malaysia, on the matter, and also confirmed that it has escalated the issue with the Malaysian police, as well as the Interpol, for further action.

In this age of social media, the world is grappling with the culture of sharing photos and information, and naming-and shaming victims, especially young girls and women, without their consent, and our country is no exception.

Back in August, a 17-year-old jumped to her death from a flat in Penang, after a 20-year-old threatened to make her private photos leaked on the internet if she did not have sex with him.

In May, a 20-year-old woman hung herself after allegedly receiving a barrage of trolling and derogatory remarks on a Facebook page which had shared her Tik-Tok video taken with her colleague, believed to be a Nepali.


Photo source: RojakDaily