Mumbai Police: Social media admins will be held responsible for objectionable content

The Mumbai Police has issued an order in this regard asking admins to moderate content on groups, those found violating norms will be booked


Cracking a whip on “admins” of social media and messaging platforms, the Mumbai Police on Friday issued orders saying that these designated admins would be personally responsible for the spread of misleading, provocative and derogatory messages and strict action will be taken against them.

In a tweet, the Mumbai Police has also urged all citizens to act responsibly and refrain from sharing any misinformation or derogatory content, apart from urging “admins” to moderate all content being shared and bring to the police’s notice if anyone violates the norms. 


Deputy Commissioner of Police (Operations) for Greater Mumbai, Pranaya Ashok, issued a letter which stated that there has been widespread dissemination of fake news, incorrect information, misinformation and other objectionable content in the form of messages, videos (edited and self-created), images or memes, audio clips and other forms of such content on internet messaging and social media platforms like WhatsApp, Twitter, Facebook, TikTok, Instagram, etc. which has caused panic, confusion and mistrust towards the government and its efforts and animosity towards various communities.



Stating that such misinformation and objectionable content could lead to a law and order situation and disturbance to public tranquillity, the Mumbai Police issued a prohibitory order vide the powers conferred under Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code 1973.

“Prohibitory order for restricting any dissemination of information through various messaging and social media platforms which are found to be incorrect, derogatory and discriminatory towards a particular community, distortion of facts, causing panic and confusion among the general public, inciting mistrust towards government functionaries and their actions taken in order to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus and thereby causing danger to human health or safety or a disturbance of the public tranquility,” the order said.

Issuing a warning to “admins”, the order read, “All persons designated as “Admin” on messaging and social media platforms, either by self or by allowing any member of the group, shall be personally responsible for any such information being disseminated from a group administered by them.”

“It shall be the personal responsibility of all persons designated as “admin” on messaging and social media platforms to report any such malicious, incorrect or derogatory content posted by a member of the group to the police immediately,” the letter added.

The order is valid from April 10 to April 24 and all those found contravening the order will be punishable under Section 188 of the IPC.

According to a press release issued by the Press Information Bureau, Mumbai, on April 10, the Maharashtra Cyber Branch has registered 161 offenses against social media, fake news, rumours and hate speech. The highest number of 22 cases have been registered in Beed while Kolhapur has 13, Pune Rural 12, Mumbai 11 and Jalgaon 10.

Rumours have been circulating about Covid-19 and its treatment. There has also been a growing trend towards hate speech on social media. In this regard, 73 offenses have been registered. A total of 39 accused have been arrested.

In the last 48 hours, in Maharashtra, 30 first information reports have been filed regarding fake news, hate speech and rumours on social media and other online message channels about the Corona epidemic. The WhatsApp, Facebook and TikTok are often misused.


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