WhatsApp group admins could face jail time if members post “fake news” within chats

Admins of WhatsApp groups could be prosecuted and sent to prison if members in their chats post “fake news/content”, an Indian court has ruled.

The District Magistrate and Superintendent of Police in Varanasi, north India, issued a joint declaration order today in an effort to curb the spread of fake news, which is prevalent on sites such as Facebook and WhatsApp.

“There are several groups on social media which are named on newsgroups and also groups with other names which are propagating news and information which is not authentic. These are being forwarded without cross-checking,” the order said.

The order further adds that admins should only add contacts they know and that if any of the group contacts do post unverified content, the admin should remove both the content and content immediately.


“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,” it stated.

While this may seem a noble effort, it probably will prove very difficult to put into effective when taking a number of factors into consideration, chief being, would the admin be willing to rat out a friend or family and risk themselves going to jail for something they have little control over?

[Source – The Independent]

Join the conversation