Thursday, September 07, 2006

Online woes and Orkut

Orkut started to become a phenomenon way back in 2004 (when I myself enrolled) but Indian media, as usual, is slow to pick up and report technological and online trends. Ditto with blogging – it just takes a lot of time to imbibe into the mainstream. While most of the popular news sites based in the west (MSNBC included) give a lot of importance to what bloggers say about each article, Indian media was slow to even consider blogging as a phenomenon.

In that sense, I’m glad to finally see Indian media talking about trends. This report from Economic Times mentions about Orkut and some of the problems faced by youngsters (mostly women) due to the prevalence of bogus profiles.

… He turned to Orkut. He created a completely new profile of the girl — replete with her name and address (even her mail ID’s and cell-number ). Introducing the girl, he left nothing to imagination and in a bid to buttress the point; he even put up obscene photographs in her album and wrote lewd innuendoes in her testimonials.

The service provider is also very particular about such misuse. Now if you log in to Orkut, these cautionary notes flash constantly at the top of your screen. One can even report its misuse to the service provider directly.

Orkut, being the only networking website that’s a hit in India, has overshadowed other sites that are popular in the west (MySpace etc). And the problem mentioned above, much to our chagrin, is very common in Orkut. Since anyone can go ahead and create a profile filled with details, you just can’t be sure which profile is bogus and which isn’t. Almost everybody I know has had these “Add requests” from people they didn’t know. I personally don’t “Add” them unless I’m sure it’s a request from a person I know. But the problem is, you never really know who “owns” the specific profile, and you have to take a call between offending a genuine person and adding a bogus person.

As with a lot of other things online, women face far more such problems than men. The number of “Friend requests” they get from anonymous, unknown people is mind-boggling. But I guess that’s one of the problems being connected and each of us got to learn to live with it.


At Thursday, September 07, 2006 9:47:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"take a call between offending a genuine person and adding a bogus person."

I personally dont think twice at all... there is no call at all... any person needs to tell me who they are for me to add...

I expect people to understand what potential problems could be :D


At Friday, September 08, 2006 10:54:00 AM, Blogger Govar said...

True, but what if the profile itself is bogus. I mean, if the person says am so and so and he/she's not really so and so but just a bogus person creating a profile under your friends name? Thats what I was referring to.

At Friday, September 08, 2006 12:01:00 PM, Blogger Mellowdrama said...

Well, I am not into Orkut, but yes, I have been reading about this and people are bound to misuse it..heck well before communities on the net, folk used to trawl the net, check out yahoo profiles and email girls they didn't know with "I WANT TO MAKE FRIENDSHIP WITH YOU"..hehe. You get the creeps everywhere, you cannot do much about it except kick em where it hurts

At Friday, September 08, 2006 12:21:00 PM, Blogger Govar said...

LOL! Wish you can 'kick em where it hurts' but you can't. And thats the cover they capitalize on!


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