Kochi: Not just posting but liking and sharing social media posts which are defamatory in nature, are also offences under the prevailing cyber laws in the country.

“Sharing and liking a social media post is equal to endorsing and propagating it. The person who helps circulate a defamatory post is an equal partner in the crime,” Cyber Forensic expert Dr Vinod Bhattathiripad said.

There is a common misconception that anything can be said or done through social media. But very often they forget that the cyber space is a place where all activities are clearly marked and registered, he said.

Top officials of State Crime Records Bureau admit that cyber-bullying is a growing trend in Kerala now. However, only a few people lodge complaints. It is also common for people to withdraw the case when it reaches the court.

As per the figures released last year, Uttar Pradesh tops in cybercrime cases in the country. The state registered 2,639 cases, followed by Maharashtra and Karnataka. Kerala comes 13th in the list. In 2016, 28 cases were reported in Kerala for outraging the modesty of women.

These things are illegal in social media

  • Defamatory or obscene notes or posts
  • Liking or sharing such posts
  • Circulating images, video or audio clips which are obscene or defamatory in nature
  • Hacking into other persons’ cyber space

Punishable under law

Cybercrimes are punishable offence under law. The punishments include penalty or imprisonment or both.

Cases fail very often        

“Cyber cases mostly fail when it reaches the court. There are many reasons behind it, including lack of evidence. Lack of public awareness and police’s support also lead to case failures,” said advocate Kaleeswaram Raj.

Steep increase in cases

India

2014 -9622

2015 -11,592

2016 -12,317

Kerala

2014 -450

2015 -290

2016 -283