NEWS

Will Orkut Stay Put?

June 12, 2007
sufferingsocrates

The internet savvy world welcomed with open arms the rise and rise of social networking. Orkut, along with other social networking sites such as hi5, have revolutionized how people stay in touch. If the messengers of the world (the IM ones) led the way of chatting and finding new friends, social networking provides a better way of meeting people with matching interests. The anonymity of the chat world has been replaced by the genuineness of the Orkut world. Not quite well enough though.

Orkut has been in trouble on more than one occasion. In Brazil it had been asked to furnish information and data because of criminal activities which gained ground in Orkut. Very soon, it came to light that there were anti-India communities existing as a group. This created another furore in India with an issue being served to Google. And a couple of days ago, Shiv Sainiks in Mumbai vandalized an internet cafe because of certain groups in Orkut derogatory material about Shivaji and the Thackeray family. There was also a murder of a girl working in TCS by her boyfriend after they developed a relationship after meeting up on Orkut.

All this indicates the cons of having a networking site. But there is no dearth of such sites at all. To name a few, hi5, Fropper, MySpace, FaceBook and the list goes on. The fact that Orkut gets dragged into all this is because of it being owned by Google, and its spread across the world as a robust networking site.

There is no denying that Orkut has always had good things from its users, for having brought long lost friends together, in making new friends, and most importantly, the genuineness of the profiles on Orkut. Of course there will always be those who will abuse the site. But why Orkut is loved by its users is because of the detailed profiles which exist. That users with common interests can form groups is probably what has created a lot of problems.

Technology will always continue to surge ahead, and provide more opportunities for people to get closer. Social networking sites like Orkut provide a lot of facilities, but there is always a flip side to anything which enables and equips people. The wrong doers, who will continue to persist and do wrong things. These could be people who want to evoke a sense of hatred, and incitement to create social disharmony. It could also be authoritarian rules which restrict usage of such sites. Either ways, technology will always be misused. The more it progresses, much more chances that it can be misused.

It is difficult to curb sites like Orkut which has such huge following. What can be done about those who form groups with wrong intention is to report the site as bogus. This is an option which Orkut provides. If a certain number of users report it as bogus, the group will be removed.

One other thing that can be done is to set a lower cap on the number of users who can join a group. If a group can boast of 500 members, then it can be made public. Else it shouldn't be. Moderation should obviously be a responsibility of the owner of the group. It should also be made mandatory that anyone who wishes to join the group has to go through the moderator. Though these are not easy to implement and follow, curbs like these can certainly help in Orkut and other networking sites having more of a useful value than nuisance value.

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#1
Amrita
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June 12, 2007
10:37 AM

I can't believe they trashed up an internet cafe to show their anger. What, did they imagine orkut operated out of that cafe? They're not just thugs, they're stupid thugs.

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