If you are an admin of any Facebook or WhatsApp group then you need to read this. Any fake story, news article, explicit video or even objectionable material posted or shared in the group can land you behind the bars. A new order is released by the government of Varanasi indicated the above consequence for the offenders.
There are more than 200 million WhatsApp clients in India while Facebook has 166 million. Reacting to worries over the recent abuse of online networks to distribute fake news, morphed photos and doctored recordings that can trigger even a moderate tension and may cause a major communal rift between two or more parties. To prevent such mishaps in future, local administration has come up with this order.
Senior Director of Police along with District Magistrate jointly issued the order as if in any case objectionable material is found in any Facebook or WhatsApp group, then admins of those group will be scrutinized and punished if they haven’t taken any steps to curb the problem. Also all member of the group are liable to lodge FIR against the admin.
All Web-based social networking sites allows users to create different types of groups to micro manage their preferred fan base and interact with them in a more systematic way. Be that as it may, with no universal laws are set till now to hold accountable the main administrators or editors of the groups. But in the last fall a Bombay court has ruled out any punishment for admins in case of any discrepancy posted by others members of the group.
Apparently inconsistent with the decision, the Varanasi order says that Admins of scrutinized groups should bear all responsibilities to remain safe from any trouble; admins must add those persons in the group those are well known to him/her. In any event if any announcement is made by any member of the group which is fake or can start religious distress, then the admin must overseer the matter and deny the authenticity of the posted message and in extreme cases must kick the member from the following group, the order says.
"In case if admin fails to take any necessary action then, he or she will be viewed as liable and move will be made against the group administrator." the order says. Complaint of such post could be lodged at nearest police station, it says.