Can’t Evade Responsibility: Govt Warns WhatsApp Over Fake News
Prasad has reportedly asked officers to find ways to curb the menace of fake news.
The government on Tuesday directed WhatsApp to immediately take steps to prevent the spread of "irresponsible and explosive messages", saying the social media platform cannot evade its responsibility, amid a spate of lynching cases purportedly triggered by posts circulated on such popular messaging apps.
WhatsApp has also been asked to immediately contain the spread of such messages through application of technology, even as law and order machinery takes steps to apprehend the culprits.
When contacted, a WhatsApp spokesperson told PTI:
WhatsApp cares deeply about people’s safety and their ability to freely communicate.
Since May 2018, rumours spread on WhatsApp have allegedly led to at least 19 deaths in India.
Fake messages, claiming that child traffickers and robbers have entered cities and towns, have purportedly been responsible for at least 13 incidents of fatal mob-violence across eight Indian states.
In the most recent incident, five people were lynched in Maharashtra’s Dhule district on Sunday, 1 July, by villagers who suspected that they were part of a gang of child-lifters.
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