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WhatsApp Admins now under the Police radar!

Gone are the days when any offensive message, picture or other media circulated like wildfire from one WhatsApp group to another. It's never easy to handle a group of people. There are more than 200 Million WhatsApp users in India, add anonymity and the power of sending a message with a single click, handling a social media or app group can be a nightmare
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Gone are the days when any offensive message, picture or other media circulated like wildfire from one WhatsApp group to another! 

It’s never easy to handle a group of people. There are more than 200 million WhatsApp users in India, add anonymity and the power of sending a message with a single click, handling a social media or app group can be a nightmare. 

Now, the distress of WhatsApp admins is going to increase as the Cyber Crime police in India has tightened its scrutiny over each and every message posted in a WhatsApp group. The admin of such group will be held responsible and punishable for any derogatory post in the group. 

Attributing to some of the recent viral WhatsApp posts including the offensive post about the Indian PM Shri Narendra Modi, the cyber police has now determined to arrest the admin of a Whatsapp group for any discriminatory or derogatory post which is anti-national, communal or racial.

The responsibility of exerting caution and reporting any member of the group who posts any such message, is of the admins. Any such message posted by a member of a Whatsapp group has to be reported by the admins to the nearest police station. If they fail to employ necessary action against such member, they would be held liable to be arrested for such message.

Highlighting the benefit of recovering evidence from an instant messaging app like WhatsApp, the SP of Cybercrime, U Ram Mohan said that it won’t be easy for the troublemaker to escape the police for posting any offensive message. 

He also said that posting or circulating such message is a cognizable offence and any failure on part of the admin to take prompt action against it, can land the admin in jail under Section 153A or any other section of the Indian Penal Code. 

The Additional Commissioner (Crimes and SIT) Swathi Lakra said that spreading rumours and objectionable content or posting someone’s picture without their permission, which is an offence under both, the IPC and the IT Act, needs to be prevented.

This development has created a wave of contemplation, as admins of WhatsApp group will now need to carefully peruse every message posted by a member of the group.

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Reviewed by:
Aditya Abhyankar
Published on 04-May-17
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