Published: Fri, April 21, 2017
Electronics | By Jesus Weaver

WhatsApp posts can land group admin in jail

WhatsApp posts can land group admin in jail

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

WhatsApp is among the quickest ways via which a fake news circulates. The order states that posts that are misleading, factually incorrect or those that are uploaded for the objective of spreading rumors can result in an FIR being registered against the group administrator. People found guilty will be charged under cybercrime law, Information Technology Act and IPC. You might have tackled the problem of your phone buzzing every time there's a new message in the group by muting any notifications for a year, but there's something more to worry about in case you are the admin.

Responding to concerns over misuse of social media to publish fake news, morphed photographs and videos with fabricated narratives that can trigger tension and even communal rift in an area, the local administration in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's constituency has come up with the order. Social media platforms allow a person to create a group on which members can share views, photographs or videos.

The order stipulates that group administrators must remove members responsible for offending posts from a group. The former has over 200 million users in India, while the latter has 166 million. "These are being forwarded without cross checking", the official order read, PTI reported.

Now those administrators will be responsible for ensuring that their friends and family continue to post true things in their group, according to the law in Varanasi. The group administrator of any social group can be out to jail upon the posting of an offensive post in the group.

However, it remains to be seen how Varanasi police, which is facing severe staff crunch, implements such an order on social media are not limited to the boundaries of the district.

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