WhatsApp, Facebook Group Admins beware

WhatsApp Group Admins Legally Responsible for Shared Posts Says Varanasi DM's Order

If a post looks offensive, such a post must also be reported to the nearest police station, it says.

In Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Lok Sabha constituency Varanasi, the district administration has issued directive for administrators and members of groups on social media platforms like WhatsApp and Facebook. "These are being forwarded without cross-checking", the joint order stated. Administrators who don't take any action will be considered guilty.

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

For some users, having the admin rights over a Facebook or a WhatsApp group gives a sense of power. 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.

Do you think that District Magistrates and Police officials should violate judicial orders by issuing such headline-grabbing orders?

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The motive of the order is to curb fake news, offensive videos and doctored photos being posted.

There are thousands of groups that are active on WhatsApp, Facebook social networking sites and all groups have their administrators who have the power of blocking or removing people from the groups. In an age where social media is booming, filtering content will imply thoughtful execution by the WhatsApp administrators. If any statement is made by a group member which is fake or can cause religious disharmony, the group administrator must deny it on the group and remove the member from the group, the order says.

A case under cyber crime law, Information Technology Act and Indian Penal Code will be filed in case of violation of these guidelines.

So now it is up to group admins to add only wise people in his group and advise them not to share any fake stuff.

The order also makes it clear that orders of the Supreme Court and various high courts will be considered while initiating action.

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