Govt sends second notice to WhatsApp to control fake news

Our Bureau | | Updated on: Jul 19, 2018

The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) sent another notice to the messaging platform WhatsApp on Thursday mandating it to work out a more effective solution to tackle fake news.

This is the second notice to WhatsApp by the Ministry. The Ministry had sent a letter on July 3 to address the issue of provocative messages that were circulating on the messaging platform leading to violent incidents such as lynching. Referring to the recent lynchings incident involving a 32-year-old techie in Bidar, Karnataka, on suspicion of child lifting due to a fake WhatsApp message, the Ministry said in a press statement, “It is regretted that the enormity of the challenge and the rampant abuse happening in the country is leading to repeated commissioning of crimes.”

According to the statement, WhatsApp is not taking enough steps to address the “rampant circulation of irresponsible messages in large volumes on their platform.” “There is a need for bringing in traceability and accountability when a provocative / inflammatory message is detected and a request is made by law enforcement agencies,” the statement said.

It added that the medium used for such propagation cannot evade the responsibility and remain mute spectators... they are liable to be treated as abettors and will thereafter face consequent legal action, the statement added.

Published on July 19, 2018
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