The popularity of social networking sites is soaring. But there is also a steady stream of complaints regarding abuse on such platforms.

The cyber cell department (part of the Central Crime Branch, CCB) has upped the ante against miscreants who use Facebook and Twitter to defame or abuse individuals.

The police aim to speed up investigation into pending cases. A meeting of CCB officials, chaired by the commissioner of police, is scheduled to be held this week.

In 2010, 19 cases were registered in Chennai on Facebook-related complaints. This went up to 35 in 2011 and dipped to 29 in 2012. However, the rate of conviction remains low with just four arrests each in the past two years.

“More than 80 per cent of complaints are withdrawn by the victims once they learn the identity of the miscreants. In most cases, the culprit is a relative or acquaintance,” said an investigating officer.

Apart from friends and relatives who use social networks to get even with someone, of late, estranged spouses have begun misusing the platform, the police said.

Last year, a city-based college lecturer was arrested for posting vulgar comments about his former wife, and sharing her contact number on Facebook. In another case, a young woman was held for putting up offensive content and sharing numbers of women who worked with her fiancé.

Often, celebrities too are at the receiving end of such abuse. Last October, famous vocalist Chinmayee was allegedly harassed by two men who posted offensive remarks about her on Facebook and Twitter. The men were arrested and sent to prison.

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