Representative image (AFP/ Stan HONDA)
Bengaluru: An administrator of a WhatsApp group has been arrested in Karnataka’s Uttara Kannada district after a derogatory post about Prime Minister Narendra Modi was circulated in the group.
This is the first such arrest of a WhatsApp group administrator reported from Karnataka.
A police source told CNN-News18 that the administrator of ‘The Balse Boys’, Krishna Sannathamma Naik (30), from Murudeshwar area in the district has been arrested.
Krishna, an auto rickshaw driver, has been accused of posting derogatory matter about Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his group.
According to the police, a photograph of PM was morphed to look ugly and obscene before being circulated. Police registered a case after a complaint from Anand Manjunath Naik.
Another accused, Ganesh Naik, was also arrested and is out on bail. The third accused, Balakrishna Naik, is still on the run.
This comes in the backdrop of growing concern about the social media platform being misused to spread fake news, morphed photographs and disturbing videos with fabricated local narratives that can trigger tension and even communal rift in an area.
Recently, a joint order was issued by Varanasi District Magistrate Yogeshwar Ram Mishra and Senior Superintendent of Police Nitin Tiwari which made it has been made clear that any factually incorrect, rumour or misleading information on a social media group could result in an FIR against the group administrator.
There are over 200 million WhatsApp users in India. The order 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.