Sunday, December 2, 2012

Indian Politicians and Social Networkers scramble to check fake Facebook Accounts

Multiple arrests of social networkers over “allegedly offensive” posts under Section 66 A of the Indian IT Act has motivated pranksters and people seeking revenge to hack into legitimate Facebook accounts or to setup spoofed accounts in their victims name to circulate offensive and hate posts against well known political leaders, communities and Indian national emblems.

In an attempt to avoid being embroiled in tiresome police investigations or to face the ire of political parties- social networkers who searched for spoofed profiles in their name or found that their accounts were hacked into have started reporting such instances to the Indian cyber police.

The lack of clear guidelines about which content violates Section 66 A of the Indian IT Act has resulted in the flawed reasoning behind these arbitrary arrests of innocent social networkers for banal posts and posts from hacked accounts. It is advisable for Indian social networkers to proactively check if their account was spoofed or hacked into and report those to the respective social networking sites or the police.

Most online sites which accept user-generated content have a‘reporting’ mechanism. Sites allow subscribers to report others who violate their Statement of Rights and Responsibilities by clicking the ‘Report’ or‘Block this Person’ type tick boxes. Users can report profiles that impersonate them, use their photograph, list a fake name, that do not represent a real person or carry abusive posts. They can also report improper images, nudity, illegal drug use, the advocacy of terrorism or cyber harassment.

All social networkers should take a few simple precautions to secure there Facebook or twitter accounts as written in my previous posts titled Best practices for safe social networking and Thirteen Best Practice to StaySafe Online

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