WhatsApp,FB group admins can be jailed for offensive posts


If you’re a Whats App or Facebook group admin in India, and you’re found sharing or letting a factually incorrect, a rumor or a misleading piece of information slip past you on any of your groups, you’re liable for jail term. According to a joint order issued by Varanasi district magistrate Yogeshwar Ram Mishra and the city’s police chief Nitin Tiwari, an FIR (first investigation report) can be filed against a group administrator for sharing or ignoring offensive posts through the aforementioned instant messaging/social media platforms.

WhatsApp and Facebook group admins

The new regulations:

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Such a post must also be reported to the nearest police station so that action can be taken against the member under the law.
  • Orders of the Supreme Court and various High Courts will be considered while initiating action.
  • While freedom of expression on social media is important, it also comes with a responsibility, the order said.

There are over 200 million Whats App users in India. It 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.