WhatsApp, which is an instant messaging service application owned by American company Meta Platforms, has given more power to its group administrators.
Administrators can now delete messages posted by members.
However, it comes with responsibility as they are liable for bad things like insults or defamation done by members.
This means administrators are legally responsible for their members posts.
Meanwhile, a Digital Law Company’s social media expert in SA, Emma Sadleir has since warned WhatsApp group admins saying they should take note of a recent update to the app that could hold them legally liable for other users’ posts.
“If you are the admin of a WhatsApp group, because of this change, you become legally responsible for everything that appears on that group,” Sadleir said.
“If somebody is abusing a group, they are sending hate speech, threats, incitement, racism, any content which is illegal, if you don’t delete the content, you become legally responsible for it.”
The laws making specific messages illegal include the Cybercrimes Act.
In some countries people have been arrested and charged after posting certain messages on Whatsapp groups.
In Zimbabwe, people have been arrested for defaming President Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa on WhatsApp groups.
Some police officers have also not been spared either, others have been arrested and charged for saying Mnangagwa has run down the country.