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HindustanTimes Thu,18 Sep 2014

‘Abusive’ confession pages anger college authorities

Bhavya Dore, Hindustan Times  Mumbai, April 10, 2013
First Published: 01:30 IST(10/4/2013) | Last Updated: 01:31 IST(10/4/2013)

Online confession pages, which have become the rage for colleges and students, have increasingly begun to invite the ire of teachers and the management of educational institutes.

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The expulsion of Kalyani Bharadwaj, a second-year architecture student from the Bharati Vidyapeeth College of Architecture in Kharghar, over her involvement in setting up such a page on Facebook for college students, is the harshest fallout of this trend. College authorities have claimed that the page in question has since been shut, but one page under the same name was visible on the website.

Such pages — which allow students to post comments anonymously, have become extremely popular — starting with the first one set up by IIT-Bombay, which HT had reported. On these forums, students post details, ranging from hilarious to outrageous, of crushes and romantic affiliations,  anecdotes on teachers or even contraband activities.

But some colleges complain that the trend has gone out of hand, with students misusing the anonymity to post defamatory things about the institute, staff, or peers.

Commenting on the action taken against Bharadwaj, Suresh Mankar, principal, Bharati Vidyapeeth College of Architec-ture said: “This [expulsion] is a lesson for students. Many colleges are facing this problem. It is affecting students, they have become very lethargic and are using abusive language (on the page).”

He said for the next admission season, they would announce that students found indulging in such  activity would be debarred.

Some students, however, claimed that the authorities were overreacting. “This is such a drastic measure,” said a student of the college. “These pages are just a means of expression. This girl only made the page, she wasn’t the one posting the confessions.”

Despite repeated attempts, HT could not get in touch with Bharadwaj or her family.

Some colleges have warned students against such online activity, while others have complained to the cyber police if  confessions have taken a personal and abusive turn.

“Students have been posting  inappropriate comments about faculty instead of speaking to the concerned people and sorting out the issue directly and this has not been appreciated,” said a college official


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