Union Information Technology Minister Ravi Prasad Sharma has said,” WhatsApp, the messaging platform used to spread rumours that led to mob violence, should quickly create a mechanism to flag messages that are repeatedly shared on the platform in a particular part of the country. accountable and vigilant to prevent abuse of their platforms for the spread of dangerous and provocative messages. referring to the three popular social media platforms Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp.
In a press conference in Delhi, Prasad Pointed out the topic of 30 people have been killed in the past one year by the mob after various rumours eg child lifting, theft etc.
He said, “If in any state, any part, on a particular subject, if there is a movement of large volumes of messages on WhatsApp, it is not rocket science that can’t be discovered by application of technology.”
Talking to NDTV, Prasad cleared the difference between spam and genuine message. He said, “It is not that we want to read anyone’s messages. But if in one or two parts of the country, lakhs of messages are being transmitted, then something is wrong,”
Replying to Prasad, WhatsApp said,
“cares deeply about people’s safety” and had taken steps to combat the scourge of fake news and hoaxes.” Company also mentioned that working with Indian Researcher to better understand the problem and had introduced changes to reduce the spread of the unwanted message.
“We have been testing a new label in India that highlights when a message has been forwarded versus composed by the sender. This could serve as a signal for recipients to think twice before forwarding messages because it lets a user know if the content they received was written by the person they know or a potential rumour from someone else. We plan to launch this feature soon.”