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Legal steps can be taken against Whatsapp: IT ministry

Information and Technology minister Ravishankar Prasad met with Whatsapp vice-president Chris Daniels. “How to stop the dissemination of fake” was on the top of their talk.

Two notices from the ministry have been sent to Whatsapp regarding culmination of Fake News. In the second notice, it has clearly been stated that if WhatsApp does not take any concrete steps to culminate dissemination of fake, there would be legal consequences.

 

What ministry said:

Ravi Shankar Prasad said to media, “We insist rather on location and identification of the sender of WhatsApp messages when such messages lead to provocation of violence, heinous offences and other serious crimes,”

He added, “I met Chris Daniels, along with his team, on Wednesday and discussed various issues of the past. They have assured us that they have appointed a grievance officer for India. I have suggested that we will appreciate if grievance officer is also located in India,”

 

What Whatsapp said:

 

Chris Daniels declined to respond to any of the questions regarding their meeting.

 

But Whatsapp replied through the mail and said to The Wire, “We appreciate the opportunity to meet with government leaders, including Minister Prasad who confirmed his support for encryption and the privacy of our users. WhatsApp is deeply committed to serving the people of India and working closely with civil society and government leaders to help address abuse on our platform”.

 

Our new Head of WhatsApp India, who will be named by the end of the year, will build a local team that can serve our customers in India as well as work with partners and government leaders to help keep people safe.”

 

Steps taken by WhatsApp:

 

  • WhatsApp is collaborating with many researchers and Academics to know more about fake news and ways to curb it.

 

  • WhatsApp has introduced many new features like Limitation on Number of forwarded messages.

 

  • WhatsApp has been publishing ads in many Newspapers for a few months in order to educate people about ‘How to spot fake news’.

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