Harassment, in any form, is never okay, including sending unsolicited vulgar messages to strangers on social media. But an alleged incident of such online harassment involving an Indonesian celebrity is raising questions about how far one should go in publicly shaming a harasser, especially if they could be a minor.
Recently, fitness influencer/former beauty queen Sabrina Chairunnisa said she received extremely vulgar DMs on Instagram from a stranger. Sabrina and her famous fiancé, magician-turned-presenter Deddy Corbuzier, were so angered by the messages that the couple posted a video on Youtube in which they gave their account of what happened and exposed the identity of the alleged harasser, who they claim is still a vocational high school student.
“First, he commented [on my Instagram story] saying, ‘Your boobs are really big’. I initially didn’t respond, because I had to approve his Instagram DM [to read his message]. Then, later at night, even after posting a story which showed that I was actually sick, he asked me to have sex with him,” Sabrina said in the video.
Deddy said the DM was deleted but they had already screen-captured it, emphasizing that digital evidence can never be erased. He also said that he actually wanted to catch the high schooler himself, but he got “lazy” upon finding out that he lives in the Simalungun Regency of North Sumatra.
Then, the couple showed pictures of the alleged harasser taken from his Instagram, as well as revealing details about his private life.
“What disturbs me the most is the user goes to a nursing school, which is state-funded. Can you imagine, if he becomes a nurse, how many women would get sexually abused by him? You are stupid, that’s not how you talk to women,” Deddy said.
Despite their public shaming of the alleged harasser, Sabrina and Deddy might have picked on the wrong person. The next day, the couple posted another video in which they acknowledged that the alleged harasser did not send the DMs himself, and that it was his friend who did using his Instagram account. The video also features the alleged harasser and his friend filming an apology to Sabrina and Deddy.
Sabrina and Deddy have yet to decide whether they will press charges against the alleged harasser and his friend. But perhaps they should have done so to begin with, as their online witch hunt evidently missed the mark and could raise questions about their morality in the murky world of internet ethics. After all, defamation, like sexual harassment, is also a crime.