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