With social networking sites mushrooming by the dozen, can the miscreants be left far behind? Sunita Williams (name changed)learnt you can be ‘harassed’ online.
So you’ve registered a profile on orkut, and made many cool friends. But what happens when a few people get abusive or write cheap comments? And how far can it go?? Second year B school student Sunita recently had one such harrowing experience.
Sunita says it all started with a message left in her scrapbook (a messaging facility on the site visible to everyone):
Harasser 1: Tumhare bhai se bol mujhe 500/- de…saale ne bohot dinon se liye hain…
Harasser 2 (possibly based on some pictures Sunita uploaded of herself with a cigar and a Pepsi): You look hot… daru sutta marti ho, B-School(name changed) se ho…
Sunita (obviously angry): Don’t send me indecent messages, ba***ad.
The following series of events took place later:
* Harasser 2‘s friends Neil(name changed), Edwin(name changed) and another person (we found out that his name is Rick(name changed)) started flooding Sunita‘s scrapbook with messages like “Gaali kyun deti hai saali..achi baat nahi hai…“, “Hum bhi gaali de sakte hain..teri MB ek kar denge..” and “Tu bandi badi sahi hai…no if, no jat, only ur BUTT.”
* Harasser 1 created a community (Sunita gaali kyun deti hai??) against her.
* Harasser 2 joined her college community (Tech. of Engg.(name changed)) and started a topic called Sunita.
* All the guys troubled her female friends on the site, sending them scraps like “Sunita se bol gaali nahi de…ladki ke moonh se acha nahi lagta…uski shadi kaise hogi?”
The community, scraps, and the topic are now all gone. Sunita has removed the mildly provocative pictures from her profile. She claims that neither she nor her brother knows any of these guys. The only existing proof – she came to know that Harasser 2 tried to contact one Hacker(name changed) to hack someone’s ID ). A “hacker”, Hacker (Sunita suspects that he was asked to hack into her profile) exchanged scraps with Harasser 2, which are still present. The hack hasn’t happened yet, so watch this space.
Sunita: “I’ve left a few messages in my friends’ scrap books and registered a complaint in the Cyber Crimes department. I thought of mailing the IIT Students-Affairs Dean but have not done so yet”.
When contacted by JAM for a clarification about his involvement in the incident, Harasser 2 did not reply.
This is one rare case in which the incident got reported. You can trouble an individual on socializing sites like Orkut (using features like the scrapbook and communities) without fear of consequences. Cyber laws in India are such that you can be jailed for a spam mail in your inbox. In the cyber world, you can expect to get away with murder. Except that you cannot actually murder someone over the ‘Net. But you can bug, insult, stalk, mentally torment and otherwise make a person’s life miserable. Moral of the story – watch out, ’cause there’s nothing much you can really do.
Following are the relevant Orkut links. To browse, you need to have an orkut ID.