Govt warns WhatsApp over abuse of platform

MUMBAI: The ministry of electronics and information technology (MEIT) has warned messaging service WhatsApp over the abuse of its platform for spreading fake messages and rumours.

The government has also directed that spread of such messages should be immediately contained through the application of appropriate technology.

In a statement, the ministry said that there have been instances of lynching of innocent people because of large number of irresponsible and explosive messages filled with rumours and provocation are being circulated on WhatsApp.

Lynchings have been reported in several states including Assam, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tripura and West Bengals mainly over rumours of child lifting.

While noting that the law and order machinery is taking steps to apprehend the culprits, the ministry stated that the abuse of platform like WhatsApp for repeated circulation of such provocative content are equally a matter of deep concern.

“The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology has taken serious note of these irresponsible messages and their circulation in such platforms. 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 and at times motivated/sensational messages,” MEIT said in the statement.

The ministry has also told the platform that it cannot evade accountability and responsibility specially when good technological inventions are abused by some miscreants who resort to provocative messages which lead to spread of violence.

“The Government has also conveyed in no uncertain terms that WhatsApp must take immediate action to end this menace and ensure that their platform is not used for such malafide activities,” it stated.