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WhatsApp ‘default admin’ in jail for last 5 months because of a forwarded message

Authorities arrested Junaid on February 14 and booked him “under the IT Act and IPC Section 124 A” for sedition.

  • Published: July 23, 2018 6:34 PM IST
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WhatsApp has been facing a number of issues in India regarding disinformation and fake news. The problem has taken a turn for the worse resulting in real-world physical damage and loss of life over past couple of months. The company has been trying to work on a number of solutions for the issues to ensure that there are no further incidents and that the platform is not used for such activities. However, a new report has emerged around WhatsApp. According to a report by The Times of India, Junaid Khan, a 21-year old BSc student from Rajgarh district from Madhya Pradesh is in jail for last five months.

The report goes on to add that the reason for this prison detainment is because he was the administrator of a WhatsApp group where “objectionable” messaged was forwarded. Authorities arrested Junaid on February 14 and booked him “under the IT Act and IPC Section 124 A” for sedition. This was done after locals filed a complaint against the administrator and the person “Irfan” who sent the message to the group. However, as pointed out in the report, the parents of Khan claim that he was not the administrator of the group when the message was sent.

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They claim that Irfan was the administrator of the group when he sent the “objectionable” message and soon after left the group. This automatically made another member of the group as the administrator but that member also left the group. As the second member and group administrator left the group, WhatsApp automatically made “Junaid” as the administrator of the group. For the people who don’t know, WhatsApp automatically chooses an administrator to any given group if the former administrator leaves the group without assigning any other replacement.

On the other hand, law enforcement claims that Khan’s parents did not inform them about this at the time of the arrest. They have revealed this information after the challan has been placed in the court. The police added that the family members should present any evidence if they have to prove their claims. Police also pointed out that the family members issued a complaint that “other people were also admins of the group at that time.” WhatsApp has not issued any statement at the time of writing. But it is likely to put more attention on the platform amidst the existing issues.

  • Published Date: July 23, 2018 6:34 PM IST