Response by admins of IITB (Preach, Leaks) to our Open Letter

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Chief Editors: Anubhav Mangal, Suman Rao

InsIghT had published an opinion-editorial on the increasing menace of crowdsourced Facebook pages. Link to that article here:

The admins of two particular pages, IITB Preach and IITB Leaks, wrote back to us with a response. After we confirmed the authenticity of the mail, we decided it was only fair to publish both letters. Both the responses cite examples of satirical websites which, too, entertain at someone’s expense.

1. Response by the admins of IITB Preach

The Chief Editors,
InsIghT, IIT-Bombay.

This is in response to your article “Open Letter to (IITB) Facebook Page Admins” dated 13th September.

What you call midsem-RG, we call Stress Management. Most, if not all, posts on our page were feelings which visibly came from the depths of hearts. We gave you a platform to get rid of these emotions, be it anger, love or hatred. Talk to a psychologist, and s/he will tell you how important it is to speak out.

It was not the admin who thought up stuff and posted, was it? It was you guys, sending us posts of what you thought of the people around you. We have posted stuff we received about ourselves, with zero editing. As admins, we tried our level best to keep away the abusive posts without tinkering with the message or emotions behind the post.

People getting hurt:
We know not everyone can accept others’ views gracefully, and that is a crucial problem. People get hurt when someone brings out their true nature, character (maybe one or some aspects of it), faults, inefficiencies or ineptness for a job or a post. Maybe that’s the reason we got reported for a post like this: “@xyz: Aap rehne do, aapse na ho payega”

We have one little question to pose to you: Don’t ministers get hurt, when we call them corrupt? Don’t their images get tarnished? is a professor not hurt, when we give them adverse course feedback? We give the feedback anonymously, and most don’t possess the guts to say all that to the instructor’s face if given the chance. Does this not defame him/her?

We had over 750 likes to the page, of which many were those who were targeted on the page. So there ARE many who took the posts sportingly, in line with the spirit with which the post was intended.

We aren’t legal experts. But from what common sense dictates: IITB Confessions did not use any names so no one had a problem with it. IIT Bombay Preach had a pin post saying all the names are fictitious. Though we may not be entirely true, we can easily relate it to the show ‘Gustakhi Maaf’ where jokes are cracked on pseudo-fictitious cartoon characters whom we can easily identify as real life personalities.

It is our earnest request to you to ignore the posts on such pages, if they do not affect you in a positive manner, in case you do not share the same light-hearted spirit of stress management with the rest of us.

Thank you.

2. Response by admin of the page IITB Leaks:

The Chief Editors,
Insight, IIT-Bombay.

This is in response to your article “Open Letter to (IITB) Facebook Page Admins” dated 13th September.

We acknowledge the fact that it is a legal offence to make defamatory statements concerning an individual or a group of person, in any form. But the page “IIT-Bleaks” by us was never meant to hurt any person or group of individuals or speak defamatory of them. Rather, it was just a satirical, partially made-up material meant for purpose of entertainment of students of IIT Bombay. All the posts by IIT-B Leaks were written with no ulterior motives. It was meant to be a stress-busting tool for examination-ridden minds. The instances mentioned in our posts were clearly hypothetical to any unbiased person reading it with sole purpose of entertainment and fun. We did not cite name of any individual in particular, nor did we made any comments against him/her.

This was not the first time anyone has made such pages/comments on Facebook or any other social media. We have ample examples of derogatory and defamatory posts/photos of ministers, politicians and bureaucrats. And, even those are shared happily by people without even thinking about legal consequences of that. Even, there are many fake news websites or forums operating happily while publishing posts that can be thought to be derogatory to someone.

Hence, people should be flexible with such type of posts and take them in the right spirit and not try to make serious inferences about the motives of authors.