Indore: Administrators of thousands of WhatsApp groups have changed their group settings, prohibiting other members from posting any message following the district administration's order on Tuesday to curb fake news and posts during the coronavirus crisis.

Indore Collector Manish Singh issued an order on Monday, directing the administrators of all WhatsApp groups in the district to restrict the posts of other members. In immediate response group admins took action and have changed the settings so as to authorise only them to post messages on the platform.

"Government officials engaged in dealing with the coronavirus outbreak were facing several problems due to flooding of fake news, inflammatory messages and rumours on social media. Hopefully, this order will help in preventing the spread of misinformation on social media," a district administration official said.

Cases have been registered in two police station areas of the city under the Indian Penal Code and Information Technology Act for spreading fake messages regarding coronavirus on social media, Additional Superintendent of Police (Crime Branch) Rajesh Dandotia said.

Three persons, including two WhatsApp group administrators, have been arrested in connection with these cases.

Cyber Crime Watch team is also keeping watch on social media content and contacting the page owners to share fair content. The team has also eye on profiles of people and monitoring the accounts who are sharing wrong news or objectionable content.

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