The government of India has forewarned Facebook-owned messaging platform to act immediately in order to prevent the circulation of bogus text messages and aggravating content that has been linked to a series of lynching and mob beatings across the country in the past few months.
IT Ministry stated, “Instances of the lynching of innocent people have been noticed recently because of a large number of irresponsible and explosive messages filled with rumours and provocation are being circulated on WhatsApp. The unfortunate killing in many states such as Assam, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tripura and west Bengals are deeply painful and regrettable”.
It also added, “While the Law and order machinery is taking steps to apprehend the culprits, the abuse of platform like WhatsApp for repeated circulation of such provocative content are equally a matter of deep concern.”
As BBC reports, despite the attempts made by the police to counter them, incidents of lynchings ensued from such rumours continue to occur. In this year, these false messages about child abductors which started off by a video shared on WhatsApp have helped to trigger mass beatings of more than a dozen people across the country – at least 8 of whom have died.
With India being Whatsapp’s biggest market in the world having more than 200 million users, fake news, and videos flowing freely on the messaging app has become a new worry for social media heavyweight Facebook, which already coping with the privacy scandal.
Therefore, the government has asked WhatsApp to take assertive action against the circulation of such malicious and fraudulent content as they go viral instantly in India using required checks and filters.