Unacceptable comments on teachers by students are seen on these pages
What started out as fun and games has become a hate-mongering portal is affecting college atmosphere. DCP Sanjay Shinde, cyber, economics, confirmed that five institutions have already complained about Facebook confession pages where posts have been made against female teachers.
“The comments on these pages are serious and hurtful. Students know their rights, but they should also be aware of their duties.There have been instances of comments on teachers which is unacceptable,” said Dr Savita Kelkar, a faculty of Fergusson College. “If students are unhappy with the way faculty teaches, they should approach the institution in the correct way. They are not achieving anything by posting on Facebook except hurting other people’s sentiments,” Dr Kelkar added. These ‘confessions’ also seem to be sullying friendships.
“I felt really bad when I saw the hateful posts against me. I found out who posted them and they turned out to be my best friends. It’s surprising how people use this forum to comment on people’s personal lives,” said Ameya Dumbre, a student of Symbiosis Centre for Management Studies (SCMS UG).
Some posts are directed towards female students and are completely misogynistic in nature.“Comments about certain girls were completely derogatory where they were referred to as gold diggers,” said Ritika Mahtani, a recent graduate of SCMS. Most often, appearances and personalities are commented upon. “I was called ugly in one post but I did not feel too bad about it becaus
my friends stood up for me on the page,” said Sabina Thadani, who was targeted on the St Mary’s confession page. The page was shut down because of the number of hateful comments. “There have been instances where students have come up to the faculty completely in shock after being at the receiving end of the comments,” said Radhika Ingale, Assistant Professor, Symbiosis Institute of Media and Communication.
“Even if they don’t know who has posted the comment, the seeds of suspicion get sown into the classroom environment,” she added. In the past such pages have also appeared on several other social networking websites as well. “A couple of years ago, some hate pages against the school had been created on Orkut. We managed to block them with the help of the cyber cell,” said Father Frank Freeze, Director of the Bishop’s School in Camp.
Besides comments on faculty, he said that most of the posts on the pages were directed towards girls. Students feel that using the confession pages as a way to vent feelings about classmates is cowardly. “If you do have a problem with someone, you should speak to them about it.
People who post on such pages have no sense of integrity,” adds Mahtani. “People hide behind a social networking website because they don’t have the courage to voice their opinions. I was targeted but I took it well because I knew that those who tried to bully me were cowards,” said Raina Kshetry, an ex-student of SIMC (PG).
Abhay Nevgi, a Pune-based lawyer said, “Our agencies are handicapped to handle such cases because of lack of manpower.Posting defamatory content online is a misuse of the IT Act but it is the responsibility of the schools to make students aware of the consequences of cyber bullying.
► People who post on such pages have no sense of integrity
- Ritika Mahtani, SCMS Pass-Out