New Delhi: Fake news and videos about child lifters circulating over the WhatsApp messaging app have led to mob lynchings in at least eight states, including Karnataka, Assam, Maharashtra and Gujarat. Reports indicate this has led to the death of 29 people since May last year.
The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology has released a statement saying, “While the law and order machinery is taking steps to apprehend the culprits, the abuse of a platform like WhatsApp for repeated circulation of such provocative content is equally a matter of deep concern. It has also been pointed out that such a platform cannot evade accountability and responsibility especially when good technological inventions are abused by some miscreants who resort to provocative messages which lead to the spread of violence.”
This Facebook owned platform is the most widely used messaging service in the country and averages over 200 million messages every day.
A top executive of the company had earlier confirmed plans of introducing a third-party fact checking ability to the app so as to curb the menace of fake news. The company has also mentioned earlier that it is trying to educate its users about fake news and fact checking.