Many politicians fear that New Year eve celebrations could be dampened this year as a few Facebook fans may be making a bid to mar their reputation in front of followers.
This fear has been triggered by the embarrassment CPI(M) leader Madan Ghosh faced after a woman posted indecent photos and tagged Ghosh along on her Facebook page. Ghosh’s scare seems to have spread to other leaders across party lines as well. “I really shudder to think about my experience and I don’t know whether I will have to face such a situation again,” said Ghosh.
Two months ago, a Facebook friend of Ghosh uploaded some indecent photos in his timeline. On seeing it, Ghosh requested the person concerned not to post them. “Not only did I request her but at the same time also deleted her from my friends’ list,” Ghosh said. Politicians use Facebook to be more accessible to the public as well as campaign for their elections and also put forward their views on events and incidents. And it was observed that those who are fulltime politicians accept friends’ request from an array of people, without knowing them.
Abdur Razzak Mollah, former CPI(M) leader and a full-time politician, was tagged with a photo on Tuesday where one of his friends in his Facebook account posted an indecent photo wishing him ‘good morning.’
“I did not see it till now as I am busy. But in the evening, I will open my Facebook page. The person who has wished me good morning will probably end wishing me good night,” said Mollah from his cell phone on Tuesday afternoon. Taking a lesson from Ghosh’s experience, Manoj Bhattacharya, the RSP leader, said that one should think twice before accepting any friend request in Facebook.
“I don’t accept friends’ request unless I know the person personally and at the same time I would like to say that politicians should be careful prior to accepting any friend request in such a social site. This is because even a photo can cause an embarrassing moment. However, I am yet to have such a bad experience,” Bhattacharya said. Even state BJP president Rahul Sinha feels that unknown friends can cause some embarrassing moments by loading indecent photos or text. “Certainly, we are anxious about it as just a picture can lead us to embarrassing situation. And prior to New Year, it may be possible that a Facebook friend might load such photos for fun,” the BJP state president said.
Jyotiprioyo Mullick, the state food and supplies minister, did not yet experience any such embarrassing situation till date but at the same time he said that he did not rule out such a post on his page. “If I find any such post, I will immediately complain to the police. Facebook is a useful site. One should not misuse it,” Mullick said. “Such posts depict the erosion of values and at the same time is a cyber crime too,” said Sridip Bhattacharjee, the CPI(M) state secretariat member.
“There is a trend to malign someone and the person who does it tries to prove that he or she has the power to bring someone down from a position of power. There has to be a check on this,” said Anutamma Banerjee, a psychologist.