What if you are part of a Whatsapp group, are an admin and someone on your group posts content that is illegal or not safe? And what if you are put in jail for the same? There have been strange cases in India of Whatsapp group administrators put behind bars and harassed for something one of the group members posted. The issue has been a part of a long debate with many saying that the group admins are not responsible for the content that is posted on the groups as they are only the admins and cannot control each member with the legal forces disputing this point of view. The issue has often led to a lot of complications with many incidents coming to light and many admins seeking the high court to intervene in the matter and resolve the confusion.Also Read - Now Book Uber Via WhatsApp. Read To Learn How
Whatsapp is a part of daily life and the app is used not only by youngsters or the youth but by everyone as a means of staying in touch. It has simplified communication and is used not only by friends but even for all forms of official communication. Everyone who uses Whatsapp is a part of multiple groups, while some are formal, some informal and for fun. And each of these groups has multiple members. Especially when it comes to hobby groups, it is a huge responsibility on the admins to ensure that the members adhere to the rules and the group stays free of spam. However, it is not always possible for them to exercise this control. Sometimes, the admin might miss out on certain messages or conversations especially if there are too many chats happening at once. Also, the admin is only human and could be busy. Also Read - Banned Over 2 Million Accounts in India in Oct: WhatsApp in Compliance Report to Govt
Is it then fair to blame the admin of a group for what people post on there? Sure, admins can exercise some control and at times throw people out, but is it fair to blame them for all that goes on in the group? Luckily, Delhi High Court agrees. The High Court has ruled that Whatsapp admins cannot be held responsible for the content posted on the group by other members of the group. The question arose before Delhi High Court when a case of a similar nature was filed. Delhi High court dismissed the claims and ruled that Whatsapp admins cannot be harassed over such matters. Although the ruling has been only for the Delhi jurisdiction there have been such cases registered even in other cities where the admins have been harassed for messages posted by group members. Will this ruling soon extend to other courts too? We do hope so. How to transfer all your Whatsapp chats from old phone to new phone Also Read - WhatsApp Tips And Tricks: Guide On How To Use WhatsApp Web Without Using Your Smartphone | Checkout Video
The court in their ruling said, Similarly, I am unable to understand as to how the Administrator of a Group can be held liable for defamation even if any, by the statements made by a member of the Group. To make an Administrator of an online platform liable for defamation would be like making the manufacturer of the newsprint on which defamatory statements are published liable for defamation. When an online platform is created, the creator thereof cannot expect any of the members thereof to indulge in defamation and defamatory statements made by any member of the group cannot make the Administrator liable therefor. It is not as if without the Administrator‟s approval of each of the statements, the statements cannot be posted by any of the members of the Group on the said platform.