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Indian IT minister appreciates WhatsApp’s “prompt” response on curbing fake news

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Published: 04:36 GMT, Jul 5, 2018 |
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GOVT-WARNS-WHATSAPP

Indian Information and Technology, Ravi Shankar Prasad, on Wednesday (July 04), said that he was “happy” that the notice was sent to Whatsapp on Tuesday (July 03) and they have already sent a reply from California and appreciated the “promptness” in WhatsApp’s reply.

Facebook Inc’s (FB.O) WhatsApp messenger service had earlier responded to a call from India’s technology ministry to curb the spread of false information on its platform, saying such a task required a partnership between the pair as well as with society in general.

India is WhatsApp’s biggest market with over 200 million users. But false information on its app this year has contributed toward the triggering of mass beatings of more than a dozen people, at least three of whom have died.

On Sunday, five more people were lynched in the western state of Maharashtra on suspicion of being child abductors.

The rise in such incidents prompted the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology on Tuesday (July 03) to ask WhatsApp to take immediate steps to prevent the circulation of false information and provocative content.

The messaging service said it is giving users controls and information to help them stay safe, and that it plans to run long-term public safety advertising campaigns.

The firm has recently added a feature to its app preventing users from re-adding former members of messaging groups, and has enabled group administrators to decide who can send messages. It is also testing the labeling of forwarded messages.

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