In had never met. The debate on the pros

In
the 21st century Internet and the social media became an important part of our
personal as

Well
as professional lives and transported us to unexplored areas which were earlier
inaccessible to us. Social media connected us to people who we had never met.
The debate on the pros and cons of the World Wide Web is one that will continue
for long. However, it is undisputed that the internet and social media has been
used by criminals and non-criminals alike for furtherance of ill-conceived
objectives.

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The
Oxford Dictionary defines deviant behavior as something that is departing from
normal Standards. Deviance in a sociological context describes that behavior or
those actions that deviate from the prescribed social norm.

Online
deviance can take the form of sexual deviance, self-harm groups and hate
groups, hacking, cyber stalking cyber bullying, digital piracy et al. Most of
these qualify as cybercrimes in most countries including India. According to a study,
Cybercrimes in India have increased from 13,301 in the year 2011 to 300,000 in
the year 2015.Out of the 92 million Facebook users of India 11% are between the
ages of 0-17 and 50% are between the ages of 18-24. Facebook users in India
comprise of.7.73%of the total Facebook users. If a child of 12 were to indulge
in sexual deviance on the internet this would lead him to have serious flaws in
his interpersonal skills. Also, if a teenager would affiliate himself to a self-harm
or hate group on social networking sites this could lead to him being passive
aggressive or reclusive a victim of cyber stalking or cyber bullying would have
self-esteem issues or may also suffer from depression and have suicidal
thoughts. In my paper I do not wish to completely ignore the benefits of the
World Wide Web or the social media but I will elucidate their ill effects.

 

KEYWORDS:
Online deviance, Personality development, cybercrime, victims, offenders,

Internet,
social media, social networking sites.

 

1.
INTRODUCTION

The
21st century saw the birth and the evolution of the Internet as well as social
media. The

Internet
unfastened an unexplored world of information and knowledge which in turn
opened up new avenues for the humankind. Social media and social networking
sites connected us to people who we were not in touch with us and also
introduced and help us meet new people who had similar aspirations and
ideologies. The debate as to the advantages and disadvantages of the World Wide
Web is one that will continue till the end of time. There are always going to
arguments and discussions as to the use and misuse of social media and the Internet.

The
World Wide Web is now being pervaded by criminals in furtherance of their ill-conceived
objectives. Unfortunately, non-criminals get sucked into this virtual world and
subsequently become criminals. The Internet has now become one of the
strongholds of deviant behavior.

The
Oxford Dictionary defines deviant behavior as something that is departing from
normal

Standards.
Deviance in a sociological concept means that behavior which is not in
conformity with the norms of the Society and thus becomes unacceptable. All
crimes recognized under the Penal Statutes of a country are nothing but
different forms of deviant behavior.

Online
deviant behavior refers to a range of activities that may be considered illegal
or immoral or both. This paper will refer to the following forms of Online
Deviance, namely:

 

1.
Cyber Bullying

2.
Cyber Stalking

3.
Sexual Deviance

 

2.
ONLINE DEVIANCE AS CYBER CRIMES

As
people are becoming increasingly dependent on internet technology in their
personal as well as professional lives, the instances of computer crimes have
also increased. The most Vulnerable group that is children are worst affected
by cybercrimes not only in India but all over the world. According to a study, Cybercrimes
in India have increased from 13,301 in the year 2011 to 300,000 in the year
2015.Out of the 92 million Facebook users of India 11% are between the ages of
0-17 and 50% are between the ages of 18-24. Facebook users in India Comprise
of.7.73% of the total Facebook user’s in a study of most victimized nations of
cybercrimes india ranks second after China. As said earlier online deviance is
illegal or immoral behavior done on social media websites or by using the
internet as a medium. The following are the types of online

Deviance
that are also Cyber Crimes:

 

2.1
Cyber Bullying

The
bully from the school or the playground and has now entered the virtual world.
The Cyber bullying Research Centre in Jupiter, Florida defines cyber bullying
as the “willful and repeated harm inflicted through the use of computers, cell
phones, and other electronic devices”. Cyber bullying can take the form of
angry or rude messages, repeatedly sending Insults or threatening messages,
spreading cruel rumors, revealing something online which the person had shared
in confidence et al.8The most extreme form of cyber bullying occurs when a
person makes a fake profile of another and posts obscene or defamatory material.
India is ranked third in cyber

bullying
worldwide and thirty percent of children accessing the Internet have
experienced some kind of cyber harm.9According to Microsoft’s “Online youth Behavior
Survey” fifty three percent of children in India between the ages of 8-17 were bullied
online.

 

2.2
Cyber Stalking

Cyber
stalking is defined as using the Internet or other electronic means as a way to
harass, intimidate, threaten, monitor or make unwanted advances towards
another. It can involve direct communications through e-mails, chat rooms,
bulletin boards or social sites such as Facebook, the surreptitious gathering
of information regarding the target, or covert observation. Cyber stalking can
be scarier than actual stalking because in the case of the former you have
never come physically close to that person and you probably do not even know
how he looks,. Stalkers on most occasions create a fake profile online with a
specific aim to stalk their victims behind the comfort of their computer
screens. Cyber stalkers are motivated by different aims such as reconciling
with a partner, revenge on a partner, finding a new romantic partner, hate or
intolerance for a particular group or person. In this regard cyber stalking
could also be labeled as a crime of passion.

 

2.3
Sexual Deviance

Online
sexual deviance could take the form of pornography, pedophilia, posting and publishing
sexual content on social networking sites. Pornographic material is so freely available
on the Internet these days that it is somehow inevitable that a child would
have seen pornographic content till the ages of 10-12.Some of the pornographic
material available online is extremely violent. The internet is also a breeding
ground for pedophiles who lure young girls and boys in chat rooms and social
networking sites into performing sexual acts with them. A lot of people publish
and post sexually explicit material of a former partner as a form of revenge.
According to a study published in The Hindu, 1203 cases of publishing obscene
material online including child pornography were reported. It is important to
note that these are only statistics for reported cases and that there are still
a large number of unreported cases.

 

3.
ONLINE DEVIANCE AND PERSONALITY DEVELOPMENT

The
victims of aforementioned cybercrimes can have long lasting effects on their
mental and emotional health which in turn can be detrimental to their all-round
personality development. The most vulnerable victims of cybercrimes are
children or adolescents and they are the ones who are most deeply affected by
crimes such as bullying, stalking and sexual deviance on the Internet. Bullying
on social networking sites can leave the victim with deep mental scars. Even
though it may not take place in person, the emotional and psychological effects
of cyber-bullying are just as destructive. Victims of cyber bullying experience
a lack of acceptance in their peer groups and this result in loneliness and
isolation. They become reclusive and they avoid social gathering or are really
uncomfortable around people. Also, this can damage their self-esteem to a great
extent and in extreme cases it can lead to depression and suicidal tendencies.
They become quieter and less confident and this can adversely affect their
academic progress as well. These behavioral tendencies if left unattended
persist up to adulthood and can be really damaging personal and professional
lives.

Cyber
stalking has similar effects such as cyber bullying on the personality
development of a person. Mostly young girls and women become a victim of cyber
stalking and this leads to the feeling unsafe at all points of time. They can
experience psychological trauma as well as physical and emotional reactions.
Some of these effects may include change in eating or sleeping patterns, anger,
depression, nightmares, anxiety, helplessness, fear, shock and disbelief. Some
victims also suffer from some symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder such
as hyper vigilance. There also has a detrimental effect on a person’s social
life as they avoid social situations. The professional life may also suffer
because the mind is always preoccupied with the fear that all her online
activity at every moment is subject to stalking by an unknown face.

To
be a victim of child pornography can have devastating long lasting effects on
the mental and emotional development of a child. The victimization of a child
due to pornography is one that never ends because they can never be fully
erased or removed from online databases. Victims also experience an overwhelming
sense of guilt, embarrassment. Once adults these children experience problems
in the sexual lives because of the fact that their idea of sexuality is
tarnished. Like victims of other cybercrimes they also experience stress which can
further lead to depression and suicidal ideation. Victims of pedophilia,
experience acute feelings of guilt, shame, despair and anger. They start
viewing themselves as only fit for sexual purposes.

 

4. DATA ANALYSIS

 

Cybercrime rates
are analyzed using national data set from years 2012 and 2013 released under National
Data Sharing and Accessibility Policy (NDSAP) by the Ministry of Home Affairs, Department
of States, and National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB). The data refers to state
wise and Delhi cases registered under various sections of IT Act under Cyber
Crime. The data set touches upon a broad range of crime heads namely hacking
((Section 66 (1) IT Act), Section 66

(2) IT Act,
Section 70 IT Act), information theft (Section 71 IT Act, Section 72 IT Act),
cyber obscenity (Section 67 IT Act), Fraud (Section 73 IT Act, Section 74 IT
Act), tampering computer source documents (Section 65 IT Act), and failure of
compliance with concerned authority

(Section 68 IT
Act, Section 69 IT Act). India reported an increase from 2,876 to 4,356 in the number
of cybercrimes from the year 2012 to 2013. In 2012 and 2013, Maharashtra
reported the highest number of cybercrime which was closely followed by Andhra
Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, and Uttar Pradesh. Assam, Goa, Haryana, Madhya
Pradesh, Meghalaya, Orissa, Punjab and Uttarakhand reported a double digit
increase in cybercrime over 2012-13. There were also variations in the increase
of different crime heads in different states. For example, while Goa, Haryana,
Madhya Pradesh, Meghalaya, Orissa, and Punjab witnessed an increase in Hacking
(Section 66 (1) IT Act); Assam and Uttarakhand saw an increase in cyber
obscenity.

 

                             Figure1. Types of
cyber crime

 

5.
CONTROLLING AND PREVENTING CYBER CRIME

5.1
Cyber bullying

 

Section
66A of the Information Technology (Amendment) Act provides for a punishment for
Cyber bullying Section 66 A reads as: Punishment for sending
offensive messages through communication service,
etc. Under Section 66 (A) of the IT Act, 2000, cyber bullying is a boilable
offence, punishable with three years of imprisonment and fine. However, the complainant
and police can interpret what constitutes offensive behavior.

 

5.2
Cyber Stalking

Although
cyber stalking is not directly referred to in the IT Act, 2008, it is dealt
with by Section 72 and 72 A which deal with invasion of privacy of an
individual. The most used provision for regulating cyber stalking in India is
section 72 of the Indian information technology act (Amended), 2008.Section 72
provides relief for Breach of confidentiality and privacy. The new Section 354
D of the Indian Penal Code would also beneficial in dealing with cases of cyber
stalking. S.354D of the IPC (as has been added by the Criminal Law Amendment Ordinance,
2013) specifically deals with the offence of stalking.

 

5.3
Sexual Offences

The
Protection of children from Sexual Offences Act criminalizes watching or
collecting pornographic content involving children. It also contains provisions
for punishing Pedophiles or people involved in child sexual abuse.

 

6.
DEALING WITH VICTIMS

Victims
of cyber bullying, cyber stalking, pornography and pedophilia need immense care
and protection. It is imperative that parents of such victims are interactive
with them. Also, to prevent further occurrence of these crimes there must be
parental supervision and vigilance of their child’s online activities. Children
as young as 10 or 12 should not be allowed to access social networking sites.

Also
if there are severe emotional or mental effects a person should not feel shy or
embarrassed to seek psychological or medical help. Victims should be ready to
start afresh in spite of their harrowing experiences and in this the help of
family and friends is extremely necessary.

 

7.
CONCLUSION

The
advancement of technology in this day and age should not be used only to
further the occurrence of crimes. On the other hand it should be used to
control and prevent crimes. Social media websites should foster a sense
of security and privacy for their users and make sure that the incidents of
bullying, stalking and sexual deviance don’t go unreported.

People in
our country need to be made aware of the legislations and laws available to
them and even if they are aware they need to be empowered enough to talk about
such incidents. Childhood and adolescent years shape our personality and thus it
is very important to use the right quality and quantity of the internet and
social media. This should also be applicable to adults so as to not be a
hindrance at their homes and their workplace. Psychologists are welcoming Initiatives
by schools’ move to launch awareness programmers for students. Experts stress
that students should not believe anyone online as their profiles might be fake,
explaining further that if someone tries to isolate you from your family and
friends, or turn you against your parents or make you keep secrets, these are
all warning signs.

8. CYBER ETHICS

Cyber ethics are nothing but the code of
the internet. When we practice these cyber ethics, there are good chances of us
using in a proper and in safer way. The below are a few of them:

·        
Do use the internet to
communicate and internet the other people. Email and instant messaging make it
easy to stay in touch with the friends and family members and share your ideas
and information with people across town or halfway around the world.

·        
Don’t be a bully on the
internet. Do not call the people names, lie about them, send embarrassing
pictures of them.

·        
Do not operate the others
account using their passwords.

·        
Never share your personal
information to anyone as there is a good chance of others misusing it and
finally you would end up in a great trouble.

·        
Never try to send any kind
of malware into other’s systems and make them corrupt.

·        
When you’re online never
pretend to the other person and never try to create any fake accounts on
someone else as it would land you as well as the person into the trouble.

·        
Always adhere to the
copyright information and download games or videos only if they are
permissible.

·        
Internet is considered as
world’s largest library with the stored information on any topic in any subject
area, so using this information in a correct and legal way is also essential.

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