Indian Women: Beware of Orkut

Many days ago, I had written about the prevalent child abuse in India and how parents should safeguard against it, including educating your children about the dangers of the Internet. On the heels of that post, comes this article in the form of a warning, from CIOL.

“It was one of those normal evenings when Parmeet Kaur (name changed), a software engineer in Chennai, logged on to Orkut to unwind from work and catch up with friends.But one and a half minutes later, the evening turned shocking and miserable for her. What she saw was a cheeky scrap and forward to a profile that had her semi-nude photo in another girl’s profile, tagged as her sister who flagged joint hints of intimate advances and indecent invites. Parmeet’s photo had been brazenly and easily tampered with. After many weeks of tension and repeated requests to Orkut, the ID was removed. She vowed never to be vulnerable again.

Victims like Parmeet, are not one-off. They belong to the new breed of cautious Orkuters who either have said goodbye to networking or have got extremely careful with their communities and photographs.”

Better be safe than sorry.

“This February, the father of a South Delhi schoolgirl suffered from the fake profile of his daughter posted on Orkut that not only described the teenager as a ‘sex teacher’, but also contained obscene photographs and her contact details. He lodged a complaint with the Cyber Cell of the Delhi Police’s Economic Offences after his family started receiving calls following the appearance of the fake profile.

Can you imagine the father’s agony?

“There has been a spurt in Orkut-related obscenity cases in various parts of India like Bangalore this year. Cases of misuse on Orkut have been reported widely. In Bangalore, there have been eight to ten Orkut-related complaints concerning pictures of young girls that have been posted on communities with lewd allusions and a listing of the victims’ mobile numbers.”

The phenomenon is not restricted to any geographical regions, it is all over the country.

Some tips I gleaned from the article:

  • Do not upload .jpeg, .epf, .pdf, and .tif photographs
  • If you access Orkut from any Internet cafe, log out properly, and then close all browser windows
  • If you find your privacy compromised in any way, don’t panic. Change your Google password as the first step.
  • Use the features such as ‘Ignore User’ and ‘Report abuse’ if you ever get unsolicited invites or messages

Lastly, just like the child abuse statistics show, it is mostly acquaintances, not strangers, who are the culprits.

Akkunoor of India Forensic adds that normally users that abuse someone’s photo belong to acquaintances and not strangers. “It is mostly someone you already know. Chances of random offenders are rare.”

Read the full story here.

Related Posts: Why India Should Not Ban Orkut, India Should Cherish Democracy, Not Ban Orkut

This entry was posted in culture, India, parenting, women and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.
  • inkrambles

    I can’t imagine how tragic this must be for these women and their families. I know that being chaste is a top priority for women in India. It is instilled in them from the time they are born.

    Thank you for posting this.

    Bernie

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  • Inkrambles, Elikoh – thank you!

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  • balasubramanian

    yeah.there r pitfalls but it is due to the users us, blaming orkut would not be fair.
    but i feel they have got to work out a method to restrict fake users.

  • Yes – there is a method – “Report Abuse”. Also, Orkut has now agreed to work with the Indian police and help trace rogue users. There have been several cases of Mumbai and Kolkata police tracking down “Orkut criminals” because of this joint cooperation mechanism.

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  • dk

    coping images is not the only option to abuse…
    putting vulgur scrap to all people in the friend list of a person.
    The Report abuse mechanism dosn’t work much here…
    hindi abuses written in english are difficult to trap. And a new profile can be easily created to send scraps from there.

  • ritu

    What orkut can do to prevent abuse on women is….they can stop posting nude pictures of any kind on orkut.

  • swapnil

    this article includes the wrong side of using orkut,
    tis problem may come in every social networking site, like ibibo,bigadda, etc
    so , the problem is in human cheap thinking, whoever doing these craps, will do it, if not in orkut,…may be in yahoo or myspace..
    so better be safe in using these sites,dont upload pics, just chat n have fun
    if any 1 wannna conatact me..my orkut id is

    http://www.orkut.com/Profile.aspx?uid=12223738773903063378

  • anyone can use any name…as in my case..someone had created an account with my name and pic..and written roubish..Dont know what to do…i dont know its username and password so cant delete that account…..ORKUT SHOULD BE BANNED IN INDIA