Mob lynching of falsely accused “child abductors” are on the rise in different parts of India, namely, Assam, Karnataka, Tripura, Maharashtra, and West Bengal. And, this is happening due to the circulation of provocative messages on Facebook-owned WhatsApp, a messaging app. The recent case of lynching in Maharashtra has led to the Modi Government pressurizing the company to take proper actions immediately to prevent such incidents.
The Ministry of Electronics and IT (MEITY) gave an official statement on Tuesday that WhatsApp, “cannot evade accountability and responsibility”
India, with over 200 million users, is the biggest market for the popular app. However, recent use of this app by the miscreants to spread hatred and massacre has become a rising concern.
“Like the Government of India, we’re horrified by these terrible acts of violence and wanted to respond quickly to the very important issues you have raised,” said WhatsApp. “As a starting point, we will soon publish new educational materials around misinformation and conduct our news literacy workshops.”
WhatsApp is planning on running long-term campaigns for public safety. A new feature preventing users to add former members in messaging groups, has been added to the app. The tests are also being run on how to properly label forwarded messages for the safety of the public.