Beware- Offensive WhatsApp posts can land group admin in jail.

Posted On : April 22, 2017
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Welcome to WhatsApp world. we can't even imagine our life without WhatsApp, can we! it is not just a mere messaging App but it's more than it, even Whatsapp created a new daily record: 27 billion messages had been handled by their users in just 24hours. WhatsApp has changed the meaning of communication interaction. Social media platforms like WhatsApp and Facebook allow a person to create a group on which members can share views, photographs or videos. But now Think twice before becoming administrator of a group on WhatsApp or Facebook as one is liable for prosecution if any rumor or fake news is circulated on it. Concerns are often raised fake news, morphed photos and offensive videos circulated on social media that can potentially trigger tension and even communal strife in a region. To address this, Varanasi DM Yogeshwar Ram Mishra and SP Nitin Tiwari issued on Thursday a joint order that said a FIR (first investigation report) can be filed against a group administrator if factually incorrect, rumor or misleading information is circulated on his/her social media group.
"There are several groups on social media which are named on news groups and also groups with other names which are propagating news and information which is not authentic. These are being forwarded without cross checking," the joint order stated.
Considering this issue, directives are being issued to social media groups, WhatsApp and Facebook group administrators and members, There are over 200 million WhatsApp users in India. The order 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 rumor, 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 stated that 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, thus such order from Varanasi constituency definitely consider as a welcoming step to stop social media trolling and misguiding. 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 the 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. source: Press Trust of India,
Written By:
sneha majumder

sneha majumder

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