Social Networking is in a way boon to the Professionals to help them connect and share information. It is a boon to the Youngsters to connect and search to gather information. It serves as online platform for the families and friends to connect and share. Looking at the various aspects of Social Networking and the vision with which these were created, should be applauded for. But as they say, Evil always follows the Good. So is the case of Social Networking where the Evil Prospered more and brought out the uglier side of the human race.
With the anonymity to hide behind and with the ease of projecting oneself as something others would look to, the so called "predators" have started bringing disrepute to the Social Networking. There are so many cases that are to be read about often. The case of Love over Social Networking, the Case of Claiming to do things for Fun, the Case of Suicide for being dumped by the So called Boy Friend or Girl Friend found on Social Networking Site, the case of Financial Duping by friends from Social Networking and so forth. The cases here have risen to the next level with the involvement of Minors who get depressed or commit suicide or get abused over the Social Networking Sites.
All the malice and all the inappropriateness actually triggers down to one question - "What Level of Protocols are to be developed to ensure that the Malice and bad Intended Activities are controlled on Social Networking?" Probably the Think Tanks across the world would have to work together to ensure that they find a viable solution while still not hampering the independence and liberty offered by the Internet and Social Networking Sites. The areas that they would need to work towards may involve -
- Schools need to Compulsorily conduct Awareness Sessions for the minors on how to avoid the evils of Social Networking and the things that "Certainly need to be avoided" on the Net.
- Parent - Teacher joint task groups should be created to mentor the troubled child who could have crossed that extra mile and got in the shades of the Evils of Social Networking
- Parents to act as counsellors for their Children in the tender teen age where there is high possibility of getting influenced by the peer group and getting to the wrong un
- Age verification for the Adults getting in touch with Minors over the Social Network - this can be an option for due diligence and the Social Networking sites may use data other than Credit Cards for the Purpose. May be a verification server deployed with Government agency be used as an authentic source of information to this effect. Depends how this integration is brought in for various countries / geographies. But yes without storing the Sensitive Personal Information, they can work toward the Authentication Token based mechanism
- Countries to introduce regulations / acts to ensure that the Minors are not provided access to the Cyber Cafe when not accompanied by an Adult Family Member. Parents and elder / adult siblings must be made aware of and responsible to this effect
There as such can be many steps that can be thought of and debated to arrive at the right mix to reduce the evils and the impacts. Though, I don't think that it would be easy to eradicate the evils and evil effects of the Social Networking........