The online Indian community is rattled by the recent death of 16-year old Adnan Patrawala of Mumbai. Apparently Adnan was lured by his friends on Orkut and was later found murdered. Is Orkut responsible for the murder of this young teenager? Orkut has millions of users in India. Police investigations reveal that the plot to kill Adnan was planned on Orkut and mainstream media is pointing fingers at Orkut and holding the social site somehow responsible for this unfortunate murder of Adnan.
Tapan Shah in his post Orkut and Media, points out that technology cannot be held responsible for the death of Adnan. He writes:
Other media, it seems fails to accept Internet as a legitimate media. I see this mentality time and again displayed by the mainstream media (television and newspapers -vernacular as well as english both) to either raise an issue or just blame the technology, whenever something wrong happens in the society?…For god sake, Internet is just a medium, it is no killer.”
Vivek of The Red Pencil writes:
This incident sure to cause a reverberation in the online community. As teachers and educators we have a responsibility to help protect our students again such act. The correct response would be a blanket ban on sites like Orkut and Facebook in schools, I can see this as a very likely knee-jerk response to this event.
A better approach would be continuing education about the possible consequences of undiscretionary online behaviour, much like the talk students get (or should get) today about sex education. Students have to be told, with examples like this unfortunate incident involving Adnan, that dangers exist and like one would not share personal information with a stranger or accept food from someone you didn’t know similar behaviours were inappropriate even when the other were a virtual entity at a computer screen miles from home.
Vani of A Whimsical Mind wonders about the unfortunate murder of Adnan and writes:
What is it that lures a youngster to meet strangers over the internet ? its possibly the fast life that they love to lead or probably the sudden adrenalin rush on meeting strangers ? Well whom do we blame ? is it the advanced technology we blame , easy money ? , the website for no regulations or is it the parents who have no clue what their children are upto.