Published: Fri, April 21, 2017
Hi-Tech | By Ellis Neal

WhatsApp, Facebook group admins can be jailed for sharing & ignoring offensive posts

WhatsApp, Facebook group admins can be jailed for sharing & ignoring offensive posts

According to an order by the District Magistrate Yogeshwar Ram Mishra (Varanasi) and Senior Superintendent of Police Nitin Tiwari, you could land in jail for offensive content. Varanasi is the Lok Sabha constituency of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Aiming to curb the menace of fake news, the Varanasi administration has issued a new order, wherein group administrators on WhatsApp can be arrested if offensive posts are uploaded on that group.

WhatsApp is among the quickest ways via which a fake news circulates.

The new ruling is meant to address this concern, stating that an FIR can be filed against an administrator if any factually incorrect, rumor-mongering or misleading information is posted on their group.

The order explains, "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".

The threat from the use of social media misuse for fake news, morphed photos and videos has been looming large and further the cooked up stories entice a communal rift in the area.

Social media platforms allow users to create a group on which members can share views, photographs or videos. The information is being communicated to social media groups on WhatsApp and Facebook to remind its administrators of the sense of responsibility they have. "These are being forwarded without cross checking", it said. The group administrator need not be physically present in Varanasi for the order to be applicable to him.

The order also commands the admin to add only those persons, whom they personally know. In an age where social media is booming, filtering content will imply thoughtful execution by the WhatsApp administrators.

The move affects more than 200 million people who are registered on WhatsApp in India. Moreover, PTI points out that the Varanasi police is facing a severe staff crunch, making it hard to carry out the order effectively.

Like this: