Facebook! Facebook! Facebook! The more the merrier. While there are many people or organizations leveraging the social networking site to their full personal or organizational advantages, there equally are many anti-social elements that have made the site a breeding ground of terrorism, sheer fun and pleasure and scams among others. Such is the rate of growth of this second category of users that if the authorities do not take up appropriate measures to stem them then there could possibly be more mishaps and wrongdoings to the society.
More than ever before, Facebook related crimes are on a high. According to the UK police, the number of crimes across the country in the last five years has exceeded 100,000, which if calculated reaches 543% in just three years. And this year alone contributes about 7,545 to that whopping figure as against just 1,411 calls when Facebook started gaining popularity.
The complaints have been made on matters such as terrorism, deaths, frauds, scams, non-parliamentary offences, hate crimes and malicious messages that are related to the site.
The Daily Mail reported of a Facebook spokesperson commenting on this matter, “While there is a correlation between Facebook’s growing size and the number of calls, there is no evidence to suggest that the use of Facebook was the cause or carrier of a criminal act in any of the phone calls referenced.”
Amid this tight tug-of-war, it is worthwhile to remember that the number of users of the site would only grow up and that there are good chances of miscreants using the profile information if users do not set the right privacy settings on their accounts.
The UK is not the only country that has witnessed Facebook related crimes. They have been reported from the world over. Very recently, a potential terrorist was nabbed through Facebook in Baltimore, USA who had allegedly tried to rock government properties. In another instance, a notorious Italian gangster, who had used his account deliberately to connect with his fellow mates on any new orders, was arrested. There has also been a report from Philippines, one of the most social networking addict countries in Asia, where desperate assailants have used Facebook to lure women and girls contributing towards many untoward incidents.
India too is not far behind from such Facebook related crimes. Last year, a youth from New Delhi, India downloaded pictures of two air hostesses and morphed them to be posted to his friends as well as on other social networking sites. The worst part of it was that he even mentioned the phone numbers of those two young ladies, who eventually complained against it.
Where do all these converge to? One thing is certain there are too many of real and wannabe criminals who are doing round of various social networking sites looking out for an opportunity to hit. Perhaps they have no limit on what they should resort to, which eventually may cause many inhuman consequences to the world.
Users of social networking sites, especially Facebook should also be well conversant with all these crimes and should refrain themselves from posting too many of their important personal information. Even if they do post them, equal emphasis should be given on security settings to ensure that only their close contacts have access to those information. All in all, it’s all about increasing their alertness in the cyberspace. The authorities should also make cyber laws more stringent and necessary technology should be employed to help nab those criminals easily.
All these can certainly beat the ever increasing cyber crimes in the world. What do you think?