In a joint order issued by District Magistrate Yogeshwar Ram Mishra andSenior Superintendent of Police Nitin Tiwari, it has been made clear that any factually incorrect, rumour or misleading information on a social media group could result in a FIR against the group administrator.
It also directs that case under cyber crime law, Information Technology
Act and IPC will be filed in case of violation of these guidelines.
"There are several groups on social media which are named on news groups and also groups with other names which are propagating news and information which is not authentic. These are being forwarded without cross checking," it said.
Considering this issue, directives are being issued to social media groups, Whatsapp and Facebook group administrators and members, the order said.
There are over 200 million Whatsapp users in India.
It directed that social media group administrators should be ready to bear the responsibility and ownership of the groups.
The administrator must include only those members who are personally known to him or her.
If any statement is made by a group member which is fake, can cause religious disharmony or rumour, the group admin
must deny it on the group and remove the member from the group, the order said.
"In the event of inaction from the group admin, he or she will be considered guilty and action will be taken against the group admin," it said.
Such a post must also be reported to the nearest police station so thataction can be taken against the member under the law, it said.
The order, issued on Wednesday, says while freedom of expression on social media is important, it also comes with a responsibility.