Maharashtra Issues Advisory for WhatsApp Users and Admins During COVID-19 Pandemic, Here Are the Dos and Don’ts You Should Follow Amid Coronavirus Crisis

Team Latestly

Mumbai, April 9: After several incidences of fake news, hate and communal content over coronavirus surfaced on social media, the Maharashtra Cyber on Thursday issued an advisory for WhatsApp Users and Admins during the COVID-19 pandemic. The advisory gives details regarding the responsibilities every WhatsApp user and admin should take amidst the COVID-19 crisis in the country. The Maharashtra cyber police registered 132 cases so far in connection with such incidences.

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Amidst this coronavirus crisis, a lot of fake news, misinformation and hate speech messages are being circulated on instant messaging platforms, like WhatsApp. The advisory urged people not to post fake news, hate speech or misinformation in groups. Sharing Coronavirus Joke in WhatsApp Group Can Land You in Jail? Viral Post Asking Admins to Shut Groups For Two Days is Fake.

Here are the Do's and Dont's ForWhatsApp Users and Admins:

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Member of WhatsApp Group? Here's What You Should do 

• Do not post fake news, hate speech or misinformation in groups and do not further forward or circulate any such news you get from other members of the group
• Immediately delete any post, if you find it objectionable or the admin notified you
• Check the source and veracity of any news/image/video/meme you receive, before positing it on the group
• If you find any piece of misinformation, fake news or hate speech, report it on or to your nearest police station, and also inform your group admin immediately.
• Never share any content that is violent, pornographic and discriminative against any religion/community.

If You are the Admin of the WhatsApp Group

• Ensure that every group member is reliable and responsible enough to share only verified news. Inform all the group members about the rules of posting in the group
• Warn all the members and prevent them from sharing objectionable content
• Actively and regularly monitor content that is being shared on the group
• It is advisable that if the group is uncontrollable, then the group settings can be changed to only where admins have the right to post
• Inform the police if any members resort to mischief and share objectionable content.

In the advisory, the  Maharashtra Cyber Branch urged all citizens to not post, share, forward, disseminate, any message, content, pictures or photos, videos
anything that could promote enemity on grounds of religion, nationality, race, language and other grounds of discrimination or disrupt public order, decency and morality. Check Full Advisory Here.

If such act is committed, the law enforcement agency will take stern action against such perpetrators. The advisory added that any person who violates the directives will be dealt with firmly as per law including apprehension of the offenders and appropriate action under the preventive sections of law.