Whatsapp group admins in danger; Offensive posts can land you behind bars 

April 21, 2017, 11:17 am
Whatsapp group admins in danger; Offensive posts can land you behind bars 
Whatsapp group admins in danger; Offensive posts can land you behind bars 

Whatsapp group admins in danger; Offensive posts can land you behind bars 

Social networking sites help everyone to share their opinions, pictures, videos and what not even their precise location and almost everyone loves to create a new group on whatsapp, become the admin who manages the group. But now will have to be careful in doing so. As most of the fake news or rumours are the most widespread through social networking sites or Whatsapp.

Fake news can include wrong information pertaining to an individual or a nation, morphed images, disturbing videos which may trigger communal hatred and even fight between people.

In a joint order issued by District Magistrate Yogeshwar Ram Mishra and Senior Superintendent of Police Nitin Tiwari, it has been made clear that any factually incorrect, rumour or misleading information on a social media group could result in an FIR against the group administrator.

There are several groups on social media which are named on newsgroups and also groups with other names which are propagating news and information which is not authentic. These are being forwarded without cross checking
Order issued 

Considering this issue, directives are being issued to social media groups, WhatsApp and Facebook group administrators and members, the order said.

There are over 200 million WhatsApp users in India. It directed that social media group administrators should be ready to bear the responsibility and ownership of the groups.

The administrator must include only those members who are personally known to him or her. If any statement is made by a group member which is fake, can cause religious disharmony, or rumour, the group admin must deny it on the group and remove the member from the group, the order said.

“In the event of inaction from the group admin, he or she will be considered guilty and action will be taken against the group admin,” it said.

Such a post must also be reported to the nearest police station so that action can be taken against the member under the law, it said.

The order, issued yesterday, says while freedom of expression on social media is important, it also comes with a responsibility.

Varanasi is the Lok Sabha constituency of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The administration has directed that no statement or post which can hurt religious sentiments should be forwarded to any other group or person else legal action will be taken.

It also directs that case under cyber crime law, Information Technology Act and IPC will be filed in case of violation of these guidelines.

The order also makes it clear that orders of the Supreme Court and various high courts will be considered while initiating action. It needs to be seen how Varanasi police which is facing severe staff crunch implements such an order as WhatsApp and social media are not limited to the boundaries of the district.