Amid of the plaque related to the fake news over the last few months, minister of electronics and information technology, Ravi Shankar prasad has warned the higher officials of Facebook owned WhatsApp to take immediate steps for the spread of violence by the viral messages circulating on the messaging app.
Fake messages on WhatsApp have led to violence on a larger scale thus leaving more than a dozen dead in more than five states. In some of the extreme cases, mob was provoked by the WhatsApp rumors of child kidnappers or organ harvesting cases and innocent people were beaten to death.
The ministry of Electronics and Information Technology on Tuesday directed WhatsApp that it cannot “evade accountability and responsibility” for messages and asked for the company to “take immediate steps to end this menace”.
The ministry said, “The abuse of platforms like WhatsApp for repeated circulation of such provocative content are equally a matter of deep concern”.
They added, “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 news and at times motivated/sensational messages”.
The effectiveness of the fake messages on WhatsApp becomes dominant as one group can accommodate up to 256 people and those people can easily circulate the news to other groups thus linking a long chain by creating a havoc and this exactly happens for the past few days. As a result of which, mob are directed to create violence to a huge level.
In response to the allegation imposed on WhatsApp, the company said that it is “horrified by these terrible acts of violence” and the “false news, misinformation and spread of hoaxes are issues best tackled collectively by government, civil society and technology companies working together”.
As a move to tackle the fake news, WhatsApp is offering $50,000 for proposals which will foster insights into the impact of technology on contemporary society in this problem space.