TODAY -

Beware, there are legal provisions for misusing Social Media
- Imphal Times Editorial :: May 08 2018 -



From trivia to disasters, information reaches people as it happens and is keeping them engaged like never before.

But how they express or react thereafter, makes social media a double-edged sword.

Some few days back, an eight years old young girl find hopes after her story went viral on social networking site facebook.

For reason best known to the almighty, both her kidney reportedly failed and her parents had end up every penny left with them even by selling their land.

Her mother wanted to give live to her daughter but was helpless as they have no money for the transplant.

The story was reported in a local cable TV and then later it was uploaded at Facebook.

It took only some few hours to receive hundreds of response from the people.

Many donated whatever amount they have and finally Rotary club too extended all support for her kidney transplant.

Such was a wonderful contribution by social networking sites.

Just a day back, a person uploaded a video with hate speech trying to spread create tension among various communities in the state.

It was regarding the vandalism by volunteers of an organization to illegal vendors which refused to shift from the site.

It takes less then 24 hour to arrest him by Cyber Crime unit of the state police.

Another person was also reported to be arrested by police team for abusing and threatening to kill the son of the Chief Minister of Manipur.

In 2012, one of the early cases of misuse of social media came to the government’s attention, when morphed pictures and videos of earthquake victims began to go viral on social media.

Miscreants were morphing these images to show that these were Muslim victims of civil riots in Assam and Burma. This was done to provoke further riots by vested interests and it did bring a reaction.

The social media space was soon full of hate and revenge messages against Hindu migrants living in South India, which spread panic and soon there was mass exodus of people from the North East, who were forced to return back to Assam and other Northeastern states.

This was a clear example of the negative side of social media which helped in stoking mass hysteria in a very short time.

At the individual level, social media is full of examples where a relationship gone sour results in one of the partners uploading intimate pictures, videos or information, in revenge against their former partners.

Whatever the subsequent legal consequences, the damage to the victim’s reputation is instant and in some cases, results in fatal consequences.

Another fallout of social media is the evolution of all types and genres of porn and its easy access by minors, which is resulting in rapidly changing social behaviour and redefining morality, especially amongst the younger generation.

With more people participating in porn and even greater numbers accessing it, the opportunity to make easy money is unfortunately helping the industry grow rapidly, on the back of social media.

The society can neither do away with it nor ignore it.

Now what people using social networking site should understand is that there are certain act who misuse the platform with criminal intention.

As per the Section 66 A of the IT Act -

“Any person who sends, by means of a computer resource or a communication device (a) any information that is grossly offensive or has menacing character; or (b) any information which he knows to be false, but for the purpose of causing annoyance, inconvenience, danger, obstruction, insult, injury, criminal intimidation, enmity, hatred or ill will, persistently by making use of such computer resource or a communication device, (c) any electronic mail or electronic mail message for the purpose of causing annoyance or inconvenience or to deceive or to mislead the addressee or recipient about the origin of such messages, shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years and with fine.”



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