WhatsApp is a huge hit in India with nearly 200 million users using it every day. The app became a medium for communication with friends, family, and colleagues being all at one place. The simple and attractive user interface and features make the social messaging app more interesting to use.
But, improper messages you send in WhatsApp may land you in trouble and if you are admin of rumor-spreading news, then you may even face arrest.
Strict Rules in India For Curbing Fake News
Ever since the major role played by the fake news during the US elections resulting in the unexpected win of Donald Trump, many countries are tightening their grip to control and reduce fake news. This includes
- False rumours
- Fake news with unproven facts
- Photoshopped Images
- Changing the facts
India joined the others in an attempt to eliminate false news. An Indian magistrate ruled last month that posting factually incorrect or misleading information on social media can result in a report by police against the admin of that group.
A Man Arrested for Posting Obscene content
The ruling already showed its potential as a man named Krishna Sannathamma Naik (30), Karnataka who is the admin of a group named "The Balse Boys" was arrested last month. The admin reportedly posted a photoshopped image of India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi in an ugly and obscene way.
A similar thing happened when police knocked over the house of a software employee who posted repeated jokes on Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandra Babu Naidu's son Lokesh on Facebook.
Also, a man named Dipak Jaiswal, Chattisgarh was arrested for posting an objectional message on men in uniform.
These three incidents are enough to show that Indian Government is serious about spreading the false news on social media which is the easiest medium of something to become viral.
Admins: Take Care
WhatsApp admins will face all the blame for any content circulating through the groups. Do the following to stay safe
- Do not post objectionable messages about anyone in public groups
- Do not post photoshopped images that particularly hurt any group of people
- Do not add unknown people to the groups and maintain a small circle of known people
- Do not even share any rumors from other groups
While these regulations may grant a way to curb spreading of false news, they to some extent challenge the free speech of the citizens. But as this was for the greater good and less false news, then there will be no resistance from the people of India as long as the accused are proved correctly and punished justifying the violation.