Whatsapp has responded to a call from India’s technology ministry to immediately stop the spread of “irresponsible and explosive messages filled with rumors and provocation”. In reply, WhatsApp said that such a task requires a cooperation between the pair as well as with society in broad-spectrum.
It responded, just like the Government of India, it is also “horrified by these terrible acts of violence” and wants to respond quickly to the very important issues and so they need to pair the society, the government and the technology companies to work together.
The 200 million users of WhatsApp in India have been many times triggered with false information that leads to mass beating and other incidents that caused the government to worry a bit. Even a few days back five more people were lynched in the western state of Maharashtra on suspicion of being child abductors.
Such rise of events prompted the government to ask WhatsApp to take immediate steps to prevent the spread of counterfeit and provocative content.
In the letter, Whatsapp has detailed the steps that it has taken and is taking to fight misinformation and said that its strategy involves giving people the controls and information they need to stay safe; and to work proactively to prevent misuse on WhatsApp.
It said that it has been introducing new controls for group chats and on Tuesday it announced a new project to work with leading academic experts in India to learn more about the spread of misinformation, which will help inform additional product improvements going forward.
It is trying hard to educate people about how to stay safe online and how to spot WhatsApp fake news and hoaxes. It has also started working with fact checking organizations to identify rumors and false news.
The social networking platform claims that the police in Hyderabad have created a WhatsApp account where anyone can message with and about rumors that concern them and such ideas are appreciated by Whatsapp which can be practiced by others to trigger awareness to the masses.