Watch: Can a Facebook friend request be 'harassment'?
A round of discussion was started when Oscar-winning filmmaker Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy from Pakistan shared a series of tweets addressing the incident of her sister's visit to a hospital.
It so happened that after Obaid-Chinoy's sister's treatment at a hospital in Pakistan, she received a friend request from the doctor on Facebook.
This led to a series of heated tweets by the filmmaker about sexual harassment. She mentioned how 'Pakistan has zero boundaries and that the doctors messed with the wrong women in the wrong wrong family' in her tweets.
She further added that she will file a report against the doctor.
Obaid-Chinoy's portrayal of the Facebook request as 'harassment' set off an angry response from many Pakistanis saying that she had overreacted.
Still I would say the term "harassment" is so cheap. you should not have used this word... next time be careful..— Muhammad Owais ???? (@xmowais) October 31, 2017
If ALL women in ur family R strong enough, then why didn’t ur sister tweet her plea ? Why did u tweet ? Bcoz u thought u were more pwrful.— Mir Mohammad Alikhan (@POSITIVEiBANKER) October 31, 2017
I don’t feel that sending friend request to a female on social media is a transgression. Sending annoying msgs/posts such comments for sure— Muhammad Bilal (@muhammadbellal) October 31, 2017
She had to make a stunt now and then to show the distorted face of Pakistan, to the west to get funding while west is far ahead of us— A.A.KHAN (@mbckhan) October 31, 2017
However, she also had people in her support, asserting the frequent abusive response she received showed the misogyny of her critics.
And to the ppl who are bringing Sharmeen's Oscars into this. Stop with the jealousy.— Myra Zafar (@MyraZafar) October 31, 2017
More power to you. I am a doctor. Thanks for standing up for women who go through much worse in our hospitals.— Hassan (@HassanWaqar8) October 31, 2017
She released detailed statement on ‘tweeting, doctor-patient privilege, women and harassment’, she wrote: "My recent tweets about a doctor’s inappropriate behaviour has drawn much comment and controversy. The conversation has unfortunately steered far from the safety of women, unchecked unethical practices & harassment."
On tweeting, doctor-patient privilege, women and harassment pic.twitter.com/2HoCK36wjb— Sharmeen Obaid (@sharmeenochinoy) October 31, 2017
She added: “As a public figure I receive unsolicited friendship requests from strangers all the time, and never once have I brought that up, however, this request to my sister was under different circumstances."
"Patients are vulnerable, especially women who trust a doctor to see them simply as a patient, in whatever medical state that may be. When that trust is broken it is a violation," Sharmeen continued.
Obaid later admitted that her words were poorly chosen, sources reported.