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Matrimonial portals set to face the music over dubious profiles

Matrimonial portals set to face the music over dubious profiles
The Women and Child Development ministry, which is spearheading this initiative, has suggested that “each of the profiles created on these matrimony websites must be linked to Aadhaar accounts of the users as a part of the authentication process”.

The ministry has also issued a stern notice to these web portals to take immediate action to eliminate fake profiles of users. Explaining the government stance on this critical and sensitive issue, Women and Child Development minister Maneka Sanjay Gandhi talking exclusively to Millennium Post said, “We have held consultations with these matrimonial websites once and even the Department of Electronics and Information Technology was called in for this meeting. During this meeting, we had asked the matrimonial websites that each and every person who creates a profile on these websites must be verified before their accounts are created online. Each of these companies had told us that they would do so. We also told them that the authentication of profiles should be done through linking Aadhaar card of the users and that too they said they would implement. The fact that these websites haven’t taken action on any of these issues is a serious matter which needs to be addressed immediately.”

On cases of harassment that have been reported to the ministry, she said, “We have had really bizarre cases being reported to us. In fact in one of them, a woman has written to us from Bhopal saying that her profile on one of these web portals was hacked and she was described as HIV positive. This incident has tarnished her reputation in Bhopal and she has been constantly asking for redressal. There is another instance where a 40-year-old woman, who is a widow, had created a profile on one of these websites and the only requests she got was from <g data-gr-id="43">20-21 year old</g> boys. These websites are meant for serious marriage proposals and such incidents prove otherwise.”

In another case, a young woman was duped by a former defence personnel, currently working in Pune, who had been sexually exploiting her and also other women after meeting them online through these matrimonial websites. When these women filed a complaint with the police, it turned out that he had already filed a case against them for stalking him, Gandhi said.

 “This is a very serious issue and severe action should be taken against these people (matrimonial
websites) because they need to address the concerns of the people who are being harassed through their websites,” said the minister.

The ministry is also in consultation with Department of Electronics and Information Technology to take up this issue seriously and engage in regular talks with these web portals to resolve the cases of fake profiles leading to harassment. The most popular matrimonial websites include shaadi.com, bharatmatrimony.com, jeewansaathi.com, simplymarry.com and several others.
Tania Ameer

Tania Ameer

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