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

If you're a WhatsApp or Facebook group admin in India, and you're found sharing or letting a factually incorrect, a rumour or a misleading piece of information slip past you on any of your groups, you're liable for jail term.

Responding to concerns over the 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.

Issued jointly by the District Magistrate and Senior Superintendent of Police, the order says that any factually incorrect post, rumour or misleading information on a social media group could result in an FIR against the group administrator.

Social media platforms allow users to create a group on which members can share views, photographs or videos. However, with no explicit law in place to govern these, the liability of group administrators has remained fuzzy. A Delhi High Court order in December last year however had ruled that admins cannot be held liable for content posted by any other member of the group.


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