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Twitter barbs at celebrities give city cops headache

Tuesday, 16 April 2013 - 8:00am IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: dna

Social networking site Twitter, which gives users the liberty to follow anyone – including celebrities – seems to be proving to be a pain for some celebrities who are approaching the police with complaints.

Anonymous Twitter users who lash out at celebrities are to blame for this. Such users are known as ‘trollers’ in Twitter parlance.

Several complaints have been registered with the cyber crime cell of the Mumbai police crime branch about use of abusive and defamatory language by trollers. Anonymous users, who veil their real identity by using fictitious names, challenge the Information Technology Act.

Some of those who have been at the receiving end of such fury by trollers include political personalities like Sonia Gandhi, Manmohan Singh and Narendra Modi as also actors like Sushmita Sen and Amisha Patel to name a few.

Joint commissioner of police (crime) Himanshu Roy, said that every month they receive at least five complaints from celebrities being trolled.

“Once a complaint of trolling is registered we have to follow a procedure – a mail is sent to the server in the US. This takes at least 18 days,” said Roy.

He said they ask complainants to discontinue with the account and start a new one if there’s no solution in sight.

Cyber experts expect this situation to worsen.

“It’s is easy to create a fake account on any social networking site as there is no check,” said cyber expert Vijay Mukhi who admits that tracing such people is difficult as Twitter and Facebook are not too cooperative with the Mumbai police.

“If we don’t tolerate abusive language in newspapers, why on the Internet? An Indian court should issue orders to networking sites and give out a clear message if any change has to be made,” said Mukhi.


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