WhatsApp admins to be held responsible for ‘fake news, rumours’ on groups- Arunachal Police

Itanagar-  The Arunacahl Pradesh Police on Thursday issued a advisory holding admins of whatsApp group handles solely liable for messages that can cause panic among the public in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic, informed Dr N S Brar, SP, SIT and Cyber Cell.

It is being seen that there is a trend of circulation of misinformation/false news and sharing anonymous data related to coronavirus in various social media platforms as well as instant messaging platforms, like WhatsApp creating panic among the public. If there are any messages sent on the groups which are fake, insulting any religion, spreading hatred, bigotry messages which may create communal tensions, the Admins/group owners would be held solely liable, said the.

The Advisory also mentioned some Do’s 8, Don’ts for the users and Admins of such groups on messaging

Do’s & Don’ts for the User:

  • Do not post fake news, hate speech or misinformation in groups.
  • Do not further forward or circulate any such news you get from other members of the group.
  • Immediately delete any post, if you find it objectionable or the admin notified you Check the source and veracity of any news/image/videarneme you receive, before positing it on the group.
  • If you find any piece of misinformation, fake news or hate speech, report it on or to your nearest police station, and also inform your group admin immediately.
  • Never share any content that is violent, pornographic and discriminative against any religion/community.

Do’s 8, Don’ts for Administrator:

  • Ensure that every group member is reliable and responsible enough to share only verified news.
  • Inform all the group members about the rules of posting in the group.
  • Warn all the members and prevent them from shoring objectionable content.
  • Actively and regularly monitor content that is being shored on the group.
  • It is advisable that if the group is uncontrollable, then the group settings can be changed to only where Admins have the right to post.
  • Inform the police if any members resort to mischief and share objectionable content.

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