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Juvenile Crimes In Social Networking And Mass Media



INTRODUCTION

In the past few decades, there has been an unprecedented increase in the crimes by children who are below the age of 18 years .So government decided and constructed Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Amendment Act, 2015”, an Act to consolidate and amend the law relating to children alleged and found to be in conflict with law and children in need of care and protection by catering to their basic needs.


DELINQUENCY

The term “Juvenile­­­­ Delinquents [1]” or “Children in Conflict with the Law refers to any children below the age of 18 years who has come in contact with the juvenile justice system as a result of committing a crime or being suspected of committing a crime‟.


MASS MEDIA:

Mass media is Communication. E.g. television, radio, advertising, movies, the Internet, newspapers and magazines.


SOCIAL NETWORK:

Social Network sites as web-based services that allow individuals to communicate with other individuals through networking e.g.: Google, Facebook, Twitter.



RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN SOCIAL NETWORK AND CHILDHREN

In Current Digital World

Children get easily influenced to social networking by many ways. Facebook is one of the developing social networks around the world, which restricts usage of minors, but results in children getting started to sign up before turning up 13 years with fake DOB. 81% of the children in India in the age group of 8-16 years are active on social media networks compared to 70 per cent in the US and Singapore (first post report).

Too much of usage of networks not only improves knowledge but gives rise to anxiety, depression and loneliness in children’s mental health and may lead stepping out for Crimes.


STATISTICS:

National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) Data:

Crimes committed by juveniles in 19 metropolitan cities, Mumbai had 12% cases,

7.5%, Bengaluru 2.8% and Kolkata only 0.5%.


RISK OF USING SOCIAL MEDIA:

The top networking sites such as FACEBOOK, WHATSAPP, INSTAGRAM, LINKEDIN, WECHAT, SNAPCHAT, TWITTER, etc. has undergone a tremendous growth in recent years. The users of such sites has been replicating day-by-day. The viewpoint of the authors gives a clear-cut effect of media influencing the children and it should be held responsible for increasing incidences of violence and crimes among youth.


Author1: JOE LIEBERMAN argues that “the media aggressively markets violent products to children, products that have been proven in hundreds of studies to greatly increase the risk of violent behaviour.”


Author2: JEFF MCINTYRE maintains that “the media have an extremely powerful influence over youth and that children quickly learn to imitate the violent behaviour that is portrayed in the media.”


The crime committed by the children involves the following issues:


CYBER BULLYING AND ONLINE HARASSMENT:

Cyber bullying is deliberately using digital media to communicate false, embarrassing, or hostile information about another person.


SEXTING:

Sexting, photographs, or imag­­es via cell phone, computer, or other digital devices.”


FACEBOOK DEPRESSION:

“Facebook depression,” defined as depression that develops when child and teens spend a great deal of time on social media sites, such as Facebook, and then begin to exhibit classic symptoms of depression.


PRIVACY CONCERNS AND DIGITAL FOOTPRINT:

The risk associated with the advent of technology is because of improper use of technology, lack of privacy, sharing personal information such as date of birth, academic details, 600even one’s live location, etc.


FOMO (FEAR OF MISSING OUT):

Frequent checking on the media feeds is because of the quick reactions to the post they are forced to give, as commenting or liking first is also a trend nowadays. It leads to depression.


MEDIA ALSO LEADING TO CHILD ABUSE AND CHILD PORNOGRAPHY:

Child Sexual Abuse refers to any kind of mental or physical violation of a child with sexual intent usually by a person of trust.


CASES:

BLUEWHALE ATTACK[2]

The suicide game, which had its origin form Russia, shocked every citizen in India as it aimed at teens and youngsters that resulted in the user’s death. Provided with Daily tasks to members for 50 days. They include self-harming, watching horror movies and waking up at unusual hours, but these gradually get more extreme. But on the 50th day, the instruct the youngsters to commit suicide.


MINOR ON PUBG[3]: ­­

PUBG has been a common thread tying several criminal cases across the world that took place recently. A 15 YO boy allegedly banged his elder brother’s head on the wall and attacked him with scissors after he asked him to stop playing the game.


MURDER OF TIK-TOK CELEBRITY[4]:

A couple of months ago, three juveniles were arrested in the murder of a Tik Tok celebrity. Mohit Mor, a sensation on the platform, was shot dead in a busy New Delhi market.


PREVENTIVE MEASURES:

BY LEGISLATIVE:

Rajya Sabha Committee calls for mandatory apps on all devices and filters to regulate children’s access to pornographic content.


POCSO ACT,2012 to add a clause under which advocating or counselling sexual activities with a person under the age of 18years through any written material, visual representation, or audio recording or any characterization to be an offence.


Union Government shall be empowered through its designated authority to block and prohibit all websites/ intermediaries that carry Child Sexual Abuse Material (CSAM).

CERT-In (Computer Emergency Response Team), a governmental modal agency for IT established in 2004 aims at the following activities for the welfare of the citizens.


1. Protect Indian cyberspace and software infrastructure against destructive and hacking activities.

2. Respond to computer security incidents, report on vulnerabilities and promote effective IT security practices throughout the country

3. Issue guidelines, vulnerability notes, advisories and whitepapers regarding to information security, practices, prevention, procedures, response and reporting of cyber security threats.



Legal Provisions in India:


According to Section 21 of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015 No child in conflict with law shall be sentenced to death or for life imprisonment without the possibility of release, for any such offence, either under the provisions of this Act or under the provisions of the Indian Penal Code or any other law for the time being in force.

It can be averred that if a juvenile between 16–18 years of age commits a crime which is classified as heinous offence[5], then he/she can be sentenced to a maximum jail term of 14 years.



CONCLUSION:


The advancement of technology in today’s world is a rapid growing. The responsibility lies with parents, Government and school teachers in moulding the children to use internet in a gainful way by bringing awareness to them about the consequences. Some of the guidelines to protect Children’s from Social Media are:

1. Social Media should have a mechanism for age verification for installation of apps and its usage.

2. With more technology, they can verify with individual face recognitions.

3. Parents should always treat the children in friendly manners.

4. Net Nanny and Web watcher application are helpful for the parents to spy their minor’s activities in social networking without their knowledge.

[1] Section.2 (35) of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection) Act 2015 defines Juvenile, as “a Child below the Age of Eighteen Years”.

[2] 2016

[3] June 29,2019

[4] May22,2019

[5] Heinous offences is defined under Section 2(33) of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015


Author Details: Dishani Sridharan (School of Excellence in Law)

The views of the author are personal only. (if any)


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