KUALA LUMPUR: The use of the Internet has transformed how we live our lives in various ways.
Some things are good and some are bad. Some people find popularity easily while others use it to express feelings behind the safety of their keyboard.
Hence, it is not entirely surprising when someone dares to display their ‘dark side’ on social media platforms. This is a term that hardcore users of a popular social media platform are familiar with.
The ‘Dark Side’ or DS account is where the owner of a social media account is free to display their dark side, especially sexual desire and fantasy. As one imagines, it is a place where the dark side of human nature flourishes away from the eyes — and laws — of society at large.
Easy access also gives users the advantage to open DS accounts. In fact the number of such accounts is increasing, with most involving pornography-related posts, abusive words and invitations to have intimate relations, as well as uploading and selling personal pornographic videos and pictures.
Recently, Bernama interviewed a user of the platform whose identity is being kept secret, and according to him the social media platform has become an option as users are free to upload personal pornographic pictures and videos, and some of them even display unnatural sex acts.
“There are accounts that post pictures, nude videos of themselves… for fun. Usually in videos and pictures, the posters will obscure their faces, but there are some who clearly display their faces,” he said, adding that he has been following several DS accounts.
The 26-year-old said that account owners and their followers also unabashedly chatted about pornographic topics, sexual fantasies and exchanging pornographic content, and some even invited them to have sex.
There are DS account owners selling pornographic video and photo collections to selected customers from as little as RM50 to hundreds of ringgit.
He also said that a modus operandi of the social media users was that the account owner uploaded a short video as an advertisement to attract customers and then put the sale content in a group through the chat application after receiving the payment.
Commenting on the matter, an expert in counselling psychology from Universiti Pertahanan Nasional Malaysia (UPNM) Prof Datuk Dr Mohamed Fadzil Che Din explained that the DS trend is seen to be closely related to mental health aspects.
He said that the individuals involved have failed to balance their instinctive sexual urges with their rational thinking based on strong religious and moral values.
“As they are mentally weak, they fail to manage libido or strong instincts of pleasure. If their mentality is strong … all instinctive urges will be managed well and successfully. If not treated, it will become a cancer in society, especially for users of social media,” he told Bernama.
Mohamed Fadzil said DS accounts can also be categorised as tools to deceive others, especially women, or making women into victims.
Meanwhile, Bukit Aman Criminal Investigation Department deputy director (Investigation/Legal) DCP Mior Faridalathrash Wahid said that police have been paying close attention to the DS trend and cooperation is on-going with the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) to identify account holders found selling or distributing pornographic or erotic images.
“This is one of the modus operandi used by certain parties for advertising and promotional purposes. This medium can be easily and cheaply accessed by the target group and the public.
“This is very serious because it openly promotes and advertises acts in violation of the laws of Malaysia,” he told Bernama recently.
Mior Faridalathrash stressed that advertising, possession and distribution of pornographic material was an offence under Section 292 of the Penal Code and Section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998, and that if the buyer did this a criminal charge could be imposed.
He said that several accounts allegedly selling pornographic pictures and videos had been identified recently and action had been taken.
He also warned that the police are constantly monitoring the trend of DS on social media. – Bernama