Sunday, June 10, 2007

Orkut - Aisi azadi aur kaha?

One of the fundamental rights that every person would love to exercise is the freedom of expression. But every fundamental right carries with it a duty as well. When it comes to freedom of expression there are literally infinite modes of exercising it. The World Wide Web is undoubtedly one of the most widely used means of reaching maximum number of viewers and also in a shorter period of time. Everything in this world has got its own set of advantages and disadvantages. World Wide Web is probably one of the most widely abused means of communication media.

I would like to focus in particular on a social networking site called Orkut, which has been in news off late because of this. Every service u get on internet is bound to be misused and abused to the fullest in some way or the other and Orkut is no exception to it. Orkut gained widespread popularity amongst the youth of India very recently. Since then it’s literally been every person’s favorite hangout on the internet. It currently stands at 3rd position, in terms of usage.

I have (in fact had) been an ardent fan of orkut, since its one of the easiest means to keep in touch with a lot of my friends and relatives. I am also a member of several communities on orkut, which are basically created to share the common interests of people around the globe. The ease with which one can build acquaintances is the USP of orkut. One can easily create number of communities and share his/her views openly without fear/favor.

All this falls on the brighter side of orkut. Like any other website, orkut also has been misused quite profusely. No matter how Google claims to be vigilant to keep a check on offensive contents being published on their portal, they have never been successful. A few months back there was quite bit of a row on communities which had become open platforms to showcase their anger and rage on certain nations like India, Pakistan, etc. I had received N number of e-mails asking me to report these kinds of communities as bogus
. Google claims to remove/block any such offensive/inappropriate/illegal contents from their site when notified by users.

But take a closer look at the communities on orkut; u will be astonished to see countless such communities were people express open hatred towards a country or its people and no one hardly bothers to report about the abuse. I was a bit curious about such hyperbolic claims made by Google about keeping their social networking site 'beautiful', so I searched a few communities with key words, and was literally dumbfounded to find a big list of such communities. Communities like a, b, etc are undoubtedly offensive
.

One who has been using orkut for quite some time, would know how the pics of female users are prone to abuse by other orkut users. Every Tom, Dick and Harry can literally do anything with a snap of yours from ur photo album on orkut and misuse it. So off late many of my friends haven't posted their original snaps. Another feature that Orkut provides, is to add links to your favourite videos on the web. This could also be potentially used to post offensive contents on orkut.

What really irks me is not the fact that these sites allow such offensive contents to be posted on their site, but with that an amount of ease. You can easily walk away uncaught (on most occasions) doing such a mischief! We the users of such social networking sites should be aware of such flaws and educate people regarding them. We need to raise voices against such incidents, whenever we come across them. Do we need people like shiv Sainiks who abuse the law themselves, to educate us regarding the flaws in such websites?

PS: Orkut is just one of those zillions of websites that I have talked about, where the published content’s misuse is simply a child’s play. Think of all other so-called social networking sites, which have been multiplying just like mushrooms, where the vigilance levels (at least in few of the sites) are pathetic? Is this whole concept of social networking a boon or a bane? How safe are such sites for a user?
Photo courtesy: www.shalinjain.com
~ IT's My Life

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5 comments:

Vidya said...

Hmm..That is why I hardly use orkut. I am sick and tired of the stupid "scraps" that I get.

I like the way you think.

Vidya

Suresh S said...

One of the things that irritates me the most is people who hide their identity and keep bugging you all the time with spams!! Some of them take wicked pleasure in being anonymous, and snoop in to ur scrap books!!

Nirmal said...

Orkut is one of the most misused things on net. I think its time for Google to act on it.

Suresh S said...

@ Nirmal,
I wish google does something about it @ the earliest. As long as it doens't really 'Matter' to 'THEM', they don't seem to give it a damn!!

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