» Hemant Mehta, is a bright student studying in a private school. In October, this 14-yearold created a fake Facebook account of one of his male classmates who used to bully him. Tech-savvy Hemant who couldn’t win a physical fight with the bully used social media to get even.
» Last April, Kushal Shah, a 17-year-old science student of a reputed school received a call from the police for committing a cyber-crime. Kushal liked a girl in his coaching class but she rejected his proposal. In a bout of rage, he created her fake account and posted an edited picture of them posing as a couple.
» Aditya Rawal was known to be studious and a math lover. At the age of 16, he could solve math problems of class XII. But in his 2014 annual examination; he unexpectedly received low marks. Angry, Aditya hacked into his math teacher’s Facebook account and posted slangs.
All these are seemingly different cases but one aspect connects them all— the accused are adolescents who used Facebook as a medium to take revenge. According to data compiled by the Crime Branch, out of the 138 cases reportedly violating IT Act, 80 per cent of them were committed by adolescents. “With handy smartphones, it has become easier for adolescents to commit crimes. Most of them are tech-savvy so it is not tough for them to hack into anyone’s account or create a fake profile,” said Inspector (cybercell) K N Patel However, in most of the cases, adolescents unknowingly commit these crimes.
“Schools and parents should take up the responsibility of making them aware of this. Parents don’t mind giving smart phones at an early age but they should also educate their children about cyber-crime,” said Patel. Facebook related cybercrime is not a new phenomenon in Ahmedabad but what is shocking is that it’s on a rise. According to data provided by the Crime Branch, in 2013, 90 such cases were reported which surged to 138 in 2014, a 40 per cent rise. “We see several children who are mentally affected by what their friends say or comment about them on social media.
The exposure to internet is such that students often are unable to understand the harm they cause. “This is mostly because they are in front of the screen rather than in front of a person. It becomes easier to hurt this way. Sadly, children are not only causing this but are also at the receiving end,” says child psychologist and counsellor Amar Shah. “We can address this problem by making students aware of cyber crimes and the consequences of committing them because the majority users of social media are the youth. This needs to be taken up by educational institutions aggressively where there are seminars held regarding the same.”