Thursday, February 08, 2007

Oxford of East?

In a shocking discovery made by Sakal & some students of media, a racket of people who operate in sexual trade has been brought to light. These people are not some dalals in red light area. But they are tech savvy persons, who use social networking sites like Orkut for operating.
Modus operandi of this racket is something like this - they create fake profiles on Orkut and become member of many communities which serve the carnal desires of the members. Read this Maharashtra Herald story -

"...After finding a member of their interest, they exchange cellphone numbers through e-mail. The 'terms and conditions' - including those pertaining to “fees” for “services” - are decided over the phone."

This story further says that -
"...Various communities with tags like ‘Pune sex lovers’ or ‘Pune sex chat’, each with thousands of members, were found freely advertising themselves online. Boys as well as girls ask for a photograph before meeting each other.
Members of these communities willingly shared their cell phone numbers, and the Herald team found 24 of the 25 numbers procured in this manner were genuine. The fake profile created by the Herald team received 60 scraps (open messages), 40 friend requests and 90 e-mails from various members within two days!
With computers and easy Internet access, the chances of youngsters and innocent teenagers being misled into joining these communities is quite high. The situation is alarming in families where both parents are working and children are alone at home."

Now this story brings us to three issues -
1. The issues of increasing Urbanization, which make the cities unmanageable from law & order perspective
2. Cyber crime & our legal structure to deal with it.
3. Protection of innocent victims

The agencies of law will deal with first 2 issues as they deem fit; it is not for this post, to tell them what to do. It is the third issue, which should be paid more attention. Read this story that arrived in Hindustan Times -
"Air hostess described ‘sex-starved’ on Orkut"

This is clear that in such situations, it is very important that the high-risk victims like girls & minors must understand the rules of precaution.
Orkut itself has given these rules on its site. (View these rules here & here)

Orkut on its part, is trying hard as it can. While talking to a media house, a Google spokesperson said -
“We take the obligations set forth in the Community Standards seriously. Criminals cannot hide behind privacy and use the service for illegal purposes. We will balance all requests with the interests of our users.”

But still it is the duty of every vigilant & responsible Orkut member to use this medium for constructive use, and don't forget to click the 'Report Abuse' or 'Report as Bogus' link under any Profile, Community or a Video which really undermines dignity & privacy any member of society.

Read related story on eSakal & Maharashtra Herald


Madhavrao Bamne said...

Arkut is not the only site where communities are registered. There are many others. Many of them are paid. The solution could be to make this site paid service for all communities using certain words related to vulgar sex.

Janahitwadi said...

I agree that such sites should be made 'paid' In addition email should require credit card verification compulsory. Emails should continue to remain free as off now but must verify the correctness of address of a person. This would avoid malicious use of emails.

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