WhatsApp honchos meet MeitY officials

S Ronendra Singh New Delhi | Updated on July 23, 2018 Published on July 23, 2018

Under fire from the Indian government, top officials of the instant messaging app WhatsApp met senior officials of the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) on Monday.

Matthew Idema, Chief Operating Officer, WhatsApp, said that the firm is committed to India and assured that the company will do its best to curb fake messages in India. Idema, who met Ajay Sawhney, Secretary, MeitY, declined to comment when BusinessLine asked him on the mob lynching and fake messages issues in India.

Sources in the know of the meeting said the company has assured to do its best and innovate new ideas to curb such ‘menaces’ in the country.

“We have not asked them anything. We have said that you (WhatsApp) come out with solutions because you are the technology company and do it at the earliest,” a senior government official said.

For instance, the official explained, “If a beef seller puts a banner and sells saying he is selling beef, then he is lynched or beaten publicly.

“But, any person who spreads a rumour on WhatsApp saying so and so is selling beef or eating beef, no action is taken against such rumour-spreading person. We want solution for catching such persons who spread rumours.”

Another official privy to the meeting said the Prime Minister Office (PMO) “has also instructed MeitY to pursue this matter very seriously as the law and order situation in the country is of paramount importance.”

Facebook-owned WhatsApp has around 200 million users in India. Ankhi Das, Public Policy Director for India, South and Central Asia, Facebook, was also in the meeting.

Published on July 23, 2018

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