Varanasi District Magistrate Yogeshwar Ram Mishra and the Police Superintendent Nitin Tiwari have issued this order.
There were many fake news which are being circulated in the WhatsApp group.
In a report by PTI, it has been made clear that any factually incorrect rumour or misleading information on a social media group could result in an FIR against the group administrator. People found guilty will be charged under cybercrime law, Information Technology Act and IPC. The new order goes on to state that, "while freedom of expression on social media is important, it also comes with a responsibility".
The Bench said, "When an online platform is created, the creator thereof can not expect any of the members thereof to indulge in defamation, and defamatory statements made by any member of the group can not make the administrator liable". There are over 200 million WhatsApp users in India while Facebook has 166 million. 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.
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The social media has several fake news and doctored images.
This order has been issued to curb the transfer of fake news and rumors on the social media. "These are being forwarded without cross checking", it said.
The local administration of Uttar Pradesh's Varanasi on Thursday issued an order that allows prosecution against the group administrators for offensive posts in WhatsApp and Facebook groups. The admins are advised to add individuals who are known to them personally to avoid any religious disharmony, rumour etc. The orders of the Supreme Court and the high courts will be final while taking action. The group administrator of any social group can be out to jail upon the posting of an offensive post in the group. Moreover, PTI points out that the Varanasi police is facing a severe staff crunch, making it hard to carry out the order effectively.