India threatens WhatsApp group admins over fake news



Disseminating fake news on WhatsApp or Facebook in India could land you behind bars — especially if you’re running the offending group.

An Indian magistrate ruled yesterday that any information that is factually incorrect or misleading that is posted on a social media group could result in a report by the police against the group administrator, the Economic Times reports. The order is aimed at curbing the spread of false information.

Fake news came under the spotlight last year when detractors alleged that it was one of the reasons for US president Donald Trump‘s win during the 2016 US presidential elections. As the French presidential election approaches, experts are warning voters about the spread of misinformation by bot accounts.

The order stipulates that group administrators must remove members responsible for offending posts from a group. If they fail to do so, action will be taken against them.

The move affects more than 200 million people who are registered on WhatsApp in India.

Facebook and WhatsApp did not immediately respond to CNET’s request for comment.

Facebook is one of several tech giants battling the fake news phenomenon. The company introduced updates targeted at bogus accounts last week, after Google announced the addition of the “fact check” feature to its search engine earlier.

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21 April 2017 | 9:20 am – Source: