Thursday, 05 July 2018 09:24

India warns WhatsApp to act on messages that led to deaths

By

India has warned popular mobile messaging service WhatsApp that it must act immediately to stop the circulation of incendiary messages that have caused deaths in many states such as Assam, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tripura and West Bengal.

In a statement, the Indian Ministry of Electronics and IT said many innocent people had been lynched as a result of these messages circulating on WhatsApp.

It said while the country's law enforcement authorities were taking steps to apprehend those responsible for such acts, "the abuse of platforms like WhatsApp for repeated circulation of such provocative content is equally a matter of deep concern".

WhatsApp, which is owned by Facebook, has said that it is "horrified" by the "terrible acts of violence".

The government said its sentiments had been conveyed to the senior management at WhatsApp "and they have been advised that necessary remedial measures should be taken to prevent proliferation of these fake and at times motivated/sensational messages".

Five people were lynched in Maharashtra's Dhule district earlier this month, after rumours were spread on WhatsApp that they were child abductors. Twenty-three people have been arrested in connection with the killings.

Further, a man was detained for circulating his cousin's photo on WhatsApp and branding him as a child abductor.

The government statement said: "It has also been pointed out that such platforms cannot evade accountability and responsibility, specially when good technological inventions are abused by some miscreants who resort to provocative messages which lead to spread of violence.

"The government has also conveyed in no uncertain terms that WhatsApp must take immediate action to end this menace and ensure that their platform is not used for such malafide activities."

India is the country with the widest use of WhatsApp and about 90% of the smartphones in use have the application installed. Indians spend 50 million minues a day making video calls on WhatsApp, making it by far the highest usage of this function.

CHIEF DATA & ANALYTICS OFFICER BRISBANE 2020

26-27 February 2020 | Hilton Brisbane

Connecting the region’s leading data analytics professionals to drive and inspire your future strategy

Leading the data analytics division has never been easy, but now the challenge is on to remain ahead of the competition and reap the massive rewards as a strategic executive.

Do you want to leverage data governance as an enabler?Are you working at driving AI/ML implementation?

Want to stay abreast of data privacy and AI ethics requirements? Are you working hard to push predictive analytics to the limits?

With so much to keep on top of in such a rapidly changing technology space, collaboration is key to success. You don't need to struggle alone, network and share your struggles as well as your tips for success at CDAO Brisbane.

Discover how your peers have tackled the very same issues you face daily. Network with over 140 of your peers and hear from the leading professionals in your industry. Leverage this community of data and analytics enthusiasts to advance your strategy to the next level.

Download the Agenda to find out more

DOWNLOAD NOW!

Sam Varghese

website statistics

Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

VENDOR NEWS & EVENTS

REVIEWS

Recent Comments