Set up a local entity, trace origin of fake messages: Government tells WhatsApp

Posted on by KNBT

NEW DELHI: The government on Tuesday asked the social messaging platform WhatsApp to comply with the regulators and set up a local entity, news agency PTI reported. Aiming to put an end to the string of fake messages, IT minister Ravi Shankar Prasad has also told the Facebook-owned app to find a technical solution to trace the origin of such messages.

WhatsApp chief executive Chris Daniels is in India this week as the company attempts to address concerns around fake news on its messaging platform which have led to horrific crimes like mob-lynching.

Prasad, after meeting WhatsApp CEO Chris Daniels, said the messaging app has contributed significantly to India’s digital story but it needs to find solutions to deal with “sinister developments” like mob lynching and revenge porn.

“I had a productive meeting with Chris Daniels, the CEO of WhatsApp. I complimented him for the awakening, which WhatsApp has led in the entire country… But there are also sinister developments like mob lynching and revenge porn, you must find solutions to these challenges, which are downright criminal and violation of Indian laws,” he said.

According to sources, Daniels will be in India for 4-5 days, starting today, and is scheduled to meet business and government officials during his visit.

Last month, WhatsApp top executives including COO (chief operating officer) Matthew Idema had met IT secretary and other Indian government officials to outline various steps being taken by the company to tackle fake news in India.

Over the past few months, fake messages circulating on WhatsApp have incited incidents of mob fury across parts of India. The government has sent out two notices to the messaging platform directing it to take urgent measures to curb false information and rumours being spread on the messaging platform.

(With PTI inputs)

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