WhatsApp, Facebook group admins to be held responsible for fake posts in Bihar
Many districts of Bihar witnessed communal flare-ups recently and internet services were stopped there to prevent spread of inflammatory messages.india Updated: Oct 04, 2017 12:54 IST
PATNA: In the face of a number of fake and communally sensitive messages circulating on various social media platforms, police in Bihar have decided to not only track them, but also punish those fuelling hatred with inflammatory posts.
Taking lead in the matter, the administration of Darbhanga district in north Bihar recently issued a proper advisory, with detailed dos and don’ts for administrators of social media groups.
“The freedom of expression on social media is important, but it has been seen that many a time unsubstantiated facts and fake news are circulated on social media. As a result, administrators managing groups on WhatsApp, Facebook and Twitter are cautioned against such irresponsible practices,” said the order, signed by Darbhanga district magistrate Dr Chandrashekhar Singh and senior superintendent of police Satyaveer Singh.
Like in many districts of the state, Darbhanga also witnessed communal flare-ups recently and internet services had to be stopped there to prevent spread of inflammatory messages.
Additional director general (headquarters) SK Singhal said districts were free to take appropriate decisions as per situation. “They have to assess the situation at the local level,” he added.
The Darbhanga order said the administrators must be familiar with members of their groups on social media platforms and take responsibility for their activities.
“They should be prompt in removing objectionable content that could vitiate the social atmosphere or cause hurt to any section of society. They should also bring it to the notice of the local police if they detect any rumour mongering or posting of misleading information,” it said.
The order clearly said in case group administrators were found to be not acting against habitually errant members, they would be held guilty and could even face action under relevant sections of the Information Technology Act, Cyber Act and the Indian Penal Code . “Posting any message causing hurt on caste or communal lines is a punishable offence,” the order added.