By Arré Bench May. 11, 2020
The Delhi police say that the screenshots inciting rape were not part of the “Bois Locker Room” conversations. It was a separate chat, where a girl was using a fake identity to test a male friend’s character. However, that doesn’t mean the boys are innocent.
The “Bois Locker Room” controversy that marred the first week of May went viral due to a series of explicit screenshots being shared on social media, where a group of male school students were caught lewdly discussing the girls in their class. The “Bois Locker Room” was a group chat on Instagram, but along with the screenshots from Instagram, there were also screenshots from a Snapchat conversation that were being shared in the same clutch of images. Those Snapchat screenshots were separate from the ones of the “Bois Locker Room” group chat, but were unfortunately conflated with the same case by many media outlets and people sharing the news on social media. Now, the Delhi Police have confirmed that the Snapchat and “Bois Locker Room” chats were separate cases, along with a new development regarding the veracity of the already dubious Snapchat screenshots.
— NDTV (@ndtv) May 11, 2020
The “twist” referred to in the above tweet is that in the Snapchat screenshots, which discussed rape, the sender was not a real person. In fact, the sender was the girl in question herself, sending messages from a fake profile to test a male friend’s character. “Using the fake identity of a male person, she suggested in the chat a plan for sexual assault, naming herself,” Anyesh Roy, a senior Delhi police officer attached to the investigation, told NDTV. “When the Bois Locker Room Instagram screenshots were revealed to others and started circulating on social media, the alleged Snapchat conversation also got mixed with it due to its sensational nature and due to its availability in different student groups.”
— Shiv Aroor (@ShivAroor) May 10, 2020
This girl, who posed as Siddhart, and the boy she was messaging were not connected to the Instagram group chat. However, these screenshots were lumped with the “Bois Locker Room” chats, and many who only saw the screenshots without reading up on the story thought the two were from the same group of boys. And now that the sender of the Snapchat screenshots has been revealed to be a girl, many are being led to believe that even the messages from “Bois Locker Room” were fakes.
👉The girl who FAKED the SNAPCHAT SCREENSHOT is NOT connected to #BoysLockerRoom
👉#BoisLockerRoom is a different case. People are mixing it up- some by mistake, some in anger & some intentionally
👉To clear the air, I have explained it here- https://t.co/x3OUlt1Yb8
— Saahil Murli Menghani (@saahilmenghani) May 10, 2020
There have been some very eager to brush the reprehensible behaviour of the boys involved in the “Bois Locker Room” chat under the carpet by pointing out the failings of others. Last week, it was the unearthing of a similarly toxic “Girls Locker Room” – not an actual group chat like the boys had, but a series of screenshots exposing the girls involved in outing the “Bois Locker Room” as having engaged in equally disgusting online bullying. This week, it’s the news that the Snapchat screenshots were faked that are being used by so-called men’s rights activists to absolve the behaviour of the “Bois Locker Room”.
As revealed by @DelhiPolice the #BoisLockerRoom issue was about a girl creating a fake profile of a boy named Siddharth and asking for her own gang rape. Other boys refused it.@SwatiJaiHind was quick earlier, now will she initiate action against this girl? #ArrestSwatiMaliwal pic.twitter.com/QN49P6hAB6
— Amit Deshpande (@antidespondent) May 11, 2020
To use this news as a shield for the reprehensible conduct in the “Bois Locker Room” group chat, where they shared obscene pictures of girls and made misogynistic comments, is disingenuous. Even as far back as May 5, accounts that were calling out the toxicity of the Instagram screenshots were clarifying that there were doubts about some of the accompanying screenshots, presumably the Snapchat ones.
please verify all the screenshots that you see before sharing them. a lot of them are surfacing & most are visibly fake. don’t believe everything that you read. it’s damaging the credibility of #boyslockerroom & diverting attention from the issue at hand.
— kar (@donpenguinii) May 5, 2020
No matter how much certain people would like to forget that the “Bois Locker Room” incident occurred, those screenshots are genuine. The fact that the Delhi Police arrested the admin of the group, a Class 12 student over the age of 18, and have also questioned 24 other members of the group points to this. The development about the sender of the Snapchat messages being a girl is shocking, but this entire case is a reminder that two wrongs don’t make a right.