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Case Details:


Case Code : BECG082 For delivery in electronic format: Rs. 300;
For delivery through Shipping & Handling Charges extra: Rs. 300 +Shipping & Handling Charges extra


Online Business Models – Growth Factors and Challenges
Case Length : 14 Pages
Period : 2001-07
Pub Date : 2008
Teaching Note : Available
Organization : and
Industry : Dotcom
Countries : US


The case examines the controversies associated with (Orkut), a social networking site of the US-based search engine company Google Inc. (Google). Orkut became very popular in non-American countries like Brazil and India with 72% of the users being Brazilians and 18% being Indians.

Through this site, the members could search for and contact their old friends (who were also members at Orkut), make new friends and form forums (called communities) and discuss on varied topics. However, several events in Brazil and India tarnished the image of the website and these events also led to a growing debate on the safety of the members using such networking sites.

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Orkut was being seen as a medium of promoting hatred toward some religions and communities, illegal drug dealings and child pornography. It also witnessed growing incidents of fake profiles to demean the character of the victims. There were a few cases of kidnappings and murders which were allegedly planned out on Orkut. As a result of all these incidents, there were several litigations that were filed against Orkut and Google in India and Brazil. The case further examines the corrective measures taken by Google to resolve these controversies.


Examine the reasons for the rising popularity of

Study the positive and negative implications and the impact of social networking sites such as

Suggest various ways in which sites such as Orkut should protect the privacy and security of their users.


  Page No.
Introduction 1
Background Note 2
The Brazilian Fiasco 4
Orkut's Problems in India 6
Who is responsible? 8
Exhibits 10

Keywords:, Social Networking, MySpace, MSN Spaces, Scrapbook, Communities, Club Nexus, Public Interest Litigation, Pornography, Internet Protocol, Rules for Security, Community Building, Community Standards, Phishing, Users'Privacy

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