Sharing offensive media on FB and whatsapp illegal now!

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Taking a pause from the daily schedule of forwarding WhatsApp jokes, tagging friends on memes or updating Facebook statuses, a news headline shook the Internet world to the core. WhatsApp or Facebook group admins can now go to jail for sharing fake news or offensive posts.Yes, you heard it right! According to the new government issued guidelines, the WhatsApp or Facebook Group administrators can now land in jail if offensive posts, rumours, fake news stories or videos are shared online.
The order was issued by Varanasi District Magistrate Yogeshwar Ram Mishra and Senior Superintendent of Police Nitin Tiwari. The reason behind this step has been a long list of criminal activities in the past which have occurred because of the tensions triggered by these misleading information or rumours that are circulated online, thus leading to communal clashes or mob crimes. Such posts and videos can now be reported directly and are liable for a First Information Report (FIR). If adequate proof is found, the group administrators can even go to jail for violation of the above order.

The new order states-

  •    A group admin on social media sites like Facebook and WhatsApp should be mature and responsible.
  • ·        The admin should know each person before adding them in the group and should be familiar with all.
  • ·        If any group member shares or promotes defamatory posts, wrong facts or any misleading news which may spark unrest, the group admin should immediately condemn the act and remove the person from the group.
  • ·        It is also the responsibility of the group administrator to inform the local police regarding any rumour that is being shared on the social media.
  • ·        If the group admin doesn’t take any action, he/she will be considered a violator of the above order and legal action will be taken. If found guilty, a case will be registered against him/her under IT Act, Cyber Act, and Indian Penal Code.
Thus, we can conclude that Facebook and other social media platforms are a great way to exchange messages and information between a large number of people, but due to lack of invigilating authority, many offensive and misleading posts with malicious intent are circulated online too without valid proofs and evidence. 
They lead to several problems and may even hamper the security of normal citizens. Therefore, this law is bound to create a drastic effect on the minds of people. So from now on, think twice before forwarding any random message, because if found offensive, you can even end up in jail for the same! 
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