#Boislockerroom: Students discussed gangraping classmates in chat group that highlights a shocking rape culture
An Instagram chatgroup, 'Bois Locker Room', used by teenage schoolboys from Delhi, India, has garnered international attention days after the secret group's objectionable content — discussing molestation and gang rape of minor girls — was made public on social media. Ever since the exposé, Delhi Police have identified a 15-year-old schoolboy of being involved in the group and have taken him into custody. Officials are on a hunt for other members.
The controversial activities of the all-boys group — with around 100 members from four or five elite schools — came to light on May 2, Saturday, when a female Instagram user spoke out about how she received screenshots of the group chat by someone who was added to the group.
Her exposé, within a few hours, sparked a massive outrage on social media with other users also sharing screenshots of the conversations from the same group. The conversations in the group revealed that the boys had been body-shaming and slut-shaming girls, and sharing their pictures without their consent. One of the screenshots revealed that the schoolboys had discussed gang-raping minor girls, some of whom were their classmates. "I will rape her easily," one teen said in the group.
Latest reports have linked the names of at least four private schools from the affluent southern region of Delhi. The Instagram group — now deactivated — has sparked a global conversation about how the normalization of rape culture begins at a very young age in schools, especially in a city notorious for sexual violence against women.
The 2012 'Nirbhaya' rape and murder case of a medical student in the city had led to an international outcry, leading to the passage of more stringent laws against sexual assault and rape in the country. However, the revelation of the sexist and abusive chatgroup suggests that little has been done to inculcate respect towards women and fear of law in society.
An FIR was filed in the case and the Delhi Commission for Women on Monday, May 4, reportedly issued a notice to Instagram and Delhi police about the issue, demanding prompt and stringent actions. Delhi police have begun probing the case, with the cybercrime division writing to Facebook-owned Instagram for details and IP addresses of the group's users.
Bois Locker Room 2.0
Reports state that shortly after the widespread outrage and deactivation of the original account, another Instagram account was made by the boys with the purpose of seeking revenge from the girls who had shared the screenshots on social media.
The group dubbed, Bois Locker Room 2.0, in its description, invited the former group's members to create fake accounts, change user names and join the group as they threatened to leak nude or morphed pictures of the girls who had exposed them. Nearly 50 members had joined the second group before it was deactivated too.
The issue has also called on the accountability of social media in such circumstances. Delhi police have asked Instagram to detail exactly what action has it taken to deal with the situation or curb such instances. Instagram, however, has not released a statement in the case yet.
The chairman of the International Commission of Cyber Security Law, in a statement to BBC, said that the social media company is liable for the case.
"Instagram cannot say they don't know this was happening. They have to cull out such content voluntarily. The police can go after them if they fail," he told the outlet.