WhatsApp Group Admins beware now. Though a rumor, a fake news story or even videos deemed offensive posted on the group can now land you in jail. Its updated by a new government order issue in Varanasi.
Responding to concerns over the misuse of social media to publish fake news. Edited photographs and videos with fabricate 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.
Police Order for WhatsApp Group Admins
Issue jointly by the District Magistrate and Senior Superintendent of Police. The order says that any factually incorrect post, rumor or misleading information on a social media group could result in an FIR against the Facebook, WhatsApp Group Admins.
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 remain fuzzy. A Delhi High Court order in December last year however make rule. That admins cannot catch for content post by any other member of the group.
Seemingly at odds with the ruling, the Varanasi order says social media group administrators should be ready to bear the responsibility of the groups.
WhatsApp Group Admins must include only those members who are personally know to him or her. Therefore If any statement is made by a group member which is fake or can spark religious unrest.
The group administrator must deny it on the group and remove the member from the group, the order says.
“Also In the event of inaction from the group admin, he or she will be consider guilty. Hence action will be taken against the group admin,” the order says. Complaint for Such a post can be post to the nearest police station, it says.
Though directives are being issue to social media groups, Facebook and WhatsApp group administrators and members, the order said. There are over 200 million Facebook users in India while WhatsApp has 166 million users itself.
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WhatsApp rules for messaging
WhatsApp has a set of rules and guidelines that users are expected to follow when using the messaging platform. Here are some of the key rules:
- No Spamming: Users are not allowed to send unsolicited messages or spam other users on the platform.
- No Illegal or Harmful Activities: Users are not allowed to use WhatsApp to engage in illegal activities. Such as sharing copyrighted material without permission, or to promote harmful activities, such as violence, terrorism, or hate speech.
- Respect for Privacy: Users are not allowed to share personal information about others without their consent. And are expected to respect the privacy of other users.
- No Misinformation: Users are not allowed to share false or misleading information on the platform. Especially regarding sensitive topics such as health or politics.
- No Automated or Bulk Messaging: Users are not allowed to use automated or bulk messaging tools to send messages on WhatsApp. As this can lead to spam and unwanted messages.
- Respect for Terms of Service: Users are expected to comply with the terms of service of WhatsApp. Which includes not using the platform for commercial purposes or creating multiple accounts.
However, it’s important to note that violating these rules can result in penalties, such as being banned from the platform or having your account suspended.
Therefore, it’s important to use WhatsApp responsibly and adhere to these guidelines to ensure a safe and positive experience for all users.