You are on page 1of 11

Made By: ironman Super-Admin VIS Dwarka Confessions

Question 1
Read Express Newsline (The Indian Express) dated 13th May, 2013, Page 1, Article entitled "Page on Facebook defames DU Staff; dept files complaint" Now, a similar page has been opened on Facebook by an unknown administrator (student) by the name of VIS Confessions, misusing technology and defaming students and teachers

About the article and my Views
After reading the article, I found out that the said page "DSSW Confessions" posted defamatory content targeted at specific teachers and students. Comments were made on the ethnicity of the students and the personal life of the teaching staff. The content on the forum was alleged to be objectionable and sexually explicit. In my view, such incidents are a form of cyber bullying, and the offenders should be punished appropriately. Even if these posts were sent anonymously, the administrators should have checked the content before posting it. Posting on someone's origin (Ethnicity, Religion, etc) or personal life of the teachers and staff is highly objectionable and such should never be encouraged.

My Views about the project:

First of all, I think, the page in question was meant to be "VIS Dwarka Confessions" and not "VIS Confessions,” because at the moment it is the only VIS page with any considerable audience and posts. Now, I would like to say that I am a regular visitor of the page, and to my experience, this page is nothing like the infamous page "DSSW Confessions." Contrary to what is being said in the question, the page is not misusing technology and not defaming any students or teachers. There is hardly any content about the teachers or the staff, and all content about the students is harmless and unobjectionable. I have never seen a single post on the page that has attempted to defame any student or teacher. Yes, I sure have seen quite a lot of negative opinions on the page, and although I personally don't like them, I don't think there are by any means defamatory, derogatory, racially discriminating like the posts on "DSSW Confessions." (According to the Indian Express Article). Besides, more than half of the times, I am not even to make out, for whom a certain confession is, since the administrators blank out the names in all the negative opinions. And I don't think there must be any student in the school who may have been depressed because of a post on this page, unlike "DSSW Confessions" (According to the Article)

a) Do you approve/disapprove of this action? What would be your stand on the deed?

I disapprove posting of defamatory and/or racially discriminating content publicly on Facebook as the "DSSW Confessions" Page did (According to the Article). However, I totally approve of the "VIS Dwarka Confessions" Page. None of the administrators there attempt to defame or bully a student or teacher. In fact, even in most of the negative opinions, administrators add a note, where they often criticize the Confessors for finding someone's problems and posting them publicly. So my stand on the Deed would be that Confessions Pages that launch personal attacks and are used to express personal vendetta or defame people should not be allowed/discouraged. Although Confession Pages, like that of our school, which only have harmless fun, give out advices, and have other social features as well, shall be encouraged, as they unite students of the school and often raise issues of societal importance.

b) If you know the name of the administrator (student) who has opened the page, what role do you see for yourself in reporting to the authorities?

It is a belief among the visitors of the said page (VIS Dwarka Confessions) that only the administrators know each other, and that even the administrators don't know who have created the page, and who own it. For all we know, Ironman and Batman created this page. Although, even If I knew who the administrators and/or owners of the page were, I will keep it as a secret. The administrators respect the privacy, confidentiality, and secrecy of confessors and other students of the school, so should we. Since, they are not committing any illegal or wrongful act; I would not have any responsibility to report them to the authorities, even if I knew them.

c) What should the school authorities do in order to stop the perpetrator?
Since, I have not seen any illegal or wrongful act being committed on the page; I don't see the administrators and owners as perpetrators.

However, if the administrators of this page ever attempt to defame an individual intentionally, or put false accusations on the school knowingly, the School authorities should file an FIR with the local police. The police can then request Facebook for the IP Adress of the Administrators which can then be tracked back to Home Adresses of the erring Administrators with the help of their ISPs. They can then be brought to justice!

d) Who would be responsible for the consequence of the crime (juvenile home/jail) if the administrator (student) is booked under IT Act?
I studied the ‘Information Technology Act 2008,' passed by the Indian Parliament and found out that any offenses on Social Networking sites are booked under Section 66A of the Act.

Section 66A of the IT Act states that:

66A. Punishment for sending offensive messages through communication service, etc. 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.
Explanation.— For the purpose of this section, terms “electronic mail” and “electronic mail message” means a message or information created or transmitted or received on a computer, computer system, computer resource or communication device including attachments in text, images, audio, video and any other electronic record, which may be transmitted with the message.

A recent development, worth a mention, is a Ruling by Supreme Court where any arrests made using Section 66A of the IT Act, have to be first approved by Senior Police Officials.

This ruling was passed as a result of public protests of exploitation of the Section by politicians. 2 Girls from Maharashtra were arrested for allegedly defaming Shiv Sena Supremo Bal Thackeray. However, since their posts were not found to be grossly offensive or to be causing hatred, the Supreme Court termed the arrests as wrongful, and the Superintendent of Police was suspended for the same. I personally have never seen any content on the page that can be described as grossly offensive or of menacing character. I don't have any clue whether the administrators are aware that some of the posted content is false, but any posts that apparently caused annoyance, inconvenience, insult, enmity, hatred or ill will, are immediately removed by the administrators on request of a concerned person. Thus, such cannot be termed as persistent, and are not illegal by the law as well.

So, from the study of my IT Act and my experience on the page in question, the Administrators and/or owner cannot be legally punished as none of the acts done by them on the page can be classified illegal.

However, if, ever in future, an admin of the page is booked under IT Act and has to face consequences in form of imprisonment in a juvenile home or jail, or any other punishment for that matter, then it will be the mistake of the admin himself/herself. If the Act isn't exploited, as it has been previously, the Court of Law is to decide the

appropriate punishment for the offenders, and being a lawrespecting citizen of the country, I would be fine with the decision. The one, who does ill, shall have to pay for it as well!