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Warning! Orkutting can turn ugly

UNI
Sep 10, 2006 at 03:56pm IST

Kolkata: Orkutting may be the in-thing today, but the nightmare is fast catching up with complaints of harassment, sleaze and twisted psyche.

For three girls it has already turned a nightmare. Talking to UNI, Kolkata Deputy Commissioner Detective Department Gyanwant Singh said: "The city police have probed at least three complaints the last of them from Bilaspur (Madhya Pradesh) where jilted lovers and spurned friends had turned to Orkut.com with vengeance, creating obscene profiles and lewd albums, making life a living hell for the victims."

The three complaints, two of which were made by Kolkata-based girls and one from Madhya Pradesh, were received in a space of 90 days and in all three cases, it has been found that their tormentors were known to them.

CRIME FILE: For girls especially, Orkut has turned nightmarish in several cases.

"They were let off with a stern warning. We explained to them that these acts were punishable both under the Information Technology Act and the Indian Penal Code. If slapped with cases, either their careers will be ruined or they might land up in jail. They are young people who claimed to have done this in momentary madness," Singh said.

For the victims, however, this hasn't been easy. A 23-year-old Bengali girl now doing her postgraduation in Bilaspur (Madhya Pradesh) was quite depressed after her long relationship with her boyfriend fell apart.

They had called off their engagement. While the girl was trying her best to come to terms with reality, this youth was plotting revenge.

And he did this by turning to Orkut. After creating a new profile of the girl with all possible details, the spurned lover put up obscene photographs in her album and wrote lewed innuendoes in her testimonials.

The result was that the girl was flooded with obscene calls.

Saswati Chatterjee, an MBA student, says: "I did not put up my photo on Orkut as I had heard about the trouble girls are facing with their images being used for sleaze and porno stuff. It's best to stay out of such troubles."

While girls are becoming more aware, some still leave phone numbers on their scraps. Suhani Chaudhuri said: ''I didn't start with my photo after hearing all this."

Singh said: "Most people don't realise that from the point they log on to net, to the time they enter data and send it, it's being logged. If only one cared to look in the address bar in the top, would they realise they are leaving behind a trail of everything they do. All we had to do is ask the service provider (in this case Google) for the details. They responded (in all these three cases) very fast."

"Now if you log on to Orkut, these cautionary notes flash constantly at the top of your screen. One can even report its misuse to the service provider directly," he said.

The Deputy Commissioner added that cyber-rooms are never safe. "They are impersonal. People tend to do things in cyber world that they fail to do in the real life. As long as there is no personal information, it can't harm you."

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