WhatsApp has become a nightmare for many families in India. Many innocent lives have been lost because of the spread of various false messages on the social media platform. The menace of forwarding false information has even caught the attention of Indian Government. This is why it has strictly advised WhatsApp to take urgent steps to stop the spread of ‘irresponsible and explosive messages’. [caption id="attachment_41584" align="alignnone" width="728"] Source[/caption] Grieving on all the harm caused to the wrongly-accused people, Ministry of Electronics and IT (MEITY) has shown its disapproval of the management of the app and stated that Whatsapp “cannot evade accountability and responsibility”. It has described the ‘unfortunate killings’ in Assam, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tripura and West Bengal as ‘deeply painful and regrettable’.
MEITY has taken serious note of these irresponsible messages and their circulation in such platforms. Deep disapproval of such developments has been conveyed to the senior management of the WhatsApp and they have been advised that necessary remedial measures should be taken to prevent proliferation of these fake and at times motivated/ sensational messagesReportedly, the government has “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 mala fide activities”. The statement came on Tuesday when Facebook-owned WhatsApp declared global awards to the researchers who were interesting in exploring these issues. [caption id="attachment_41585" align="alignnone" width="736"] Source[/caption] Recently Maharashtra police had arrested 23 people who lynched 5 men in Dhule villages, accusing them of being child kidnappers. In May, 2 people lost their lives within 24 hours after being wrongly accused of child trafficking. It was a result of a viral message sent through WhatsApp instructing people to not trust immigrants. The first deceased was a North Indian man. Other was 63-years-old Rukmani who was travelling with her family to visit a deity was murdered by villagers. Police have charged 30 people with murder regarding the case. India is the biggest market for WhatsApp with more than 200 million users. The app has a completely encrypted messaging feature which makes it impossible to track down people who spread false information through messages. Previously WhatsApp stated that loosening encryption policies would weaken people’s trust in their privacy. But the recent happenings have made it mandatory to take immediate and strict actions to curb such incidents.