Authorities issue directives to curb fake news circulation on social media

If you like to forward messages that inspire hate on Whatsapp and if you are a group administrator of any group involved in spreading communal hate on the social media platform, you might just have to be careful next time before you post or forward anything. According to the new rule, spreading fake news and rumors that inspire sense of violence is now a criminal offense. Appropriate directives are being issued to social media groups, Whatsapp and group administrators.
Authorities have faced issues on many occasions when fake news and rumours spread over platforms like WhatsApp have caused communal and regional tensions to inflame. Now, the administrator of any group who is allegedly involved in circulating hate messages and rumoursĀ  whether on Whatsapp, Facebook, or other social media platform, is liable for prosecution.

There are over 200 million Whatsapp users in India, and the order calls for all group administrators to be responsible and self-police their chats. “The administrator must include only those members who are personally known to him or her,” the order says, adding that it’s the admin’s duty to remove offensive chats before they can spread, and report it to the nearest police station.

“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,” it said.

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