Centre warns WhatsApp over spread of messages triggering violence

Media playback is unsupported on your device                  Media caption The India Whats App video driving people to murder

Media playback is unsupported on your device Media caption The India Whats App video driving people to murder

The firm also announced awards for researchers to explore misinformation related issues and share their proposals with the messaging service, its parent Facebook, academia and policy-makers.

"We´re horrified by these bad acts of violence and wanted to respond quickly to the very important issues you have raised", WhatsApp said in the letter seen by AFP.

WhatsApp said it does not want the platform to be used for spreading misinformation, adding the dissemination of false messages was a challenge that companies and society should address.

The "WhatsApp Research Awards" will provide funding for independent research proposals that are created to be shared with WhatsApp, Facebook, and wider scholarly and policy communities, the company said in a blog post. In recent weeks, they have taken a turn for the worse.

What is certain is that governments around the world are increasingly demanding that online communications services clean up their acts to stop the spread of hate speech and fake news, and open up their messaging platforms to ease law enforcement authorities' investigations into the operation of terror networks.

It added that it has been testing a new label in India that highlights when a message has been forwarded versus composed by the sender. Because we can not see the content of messages being sent over WhatsApp we block messages based on user reports and by the manner in which they are sent. We plan to launch this new feature soon. Users sent thousands of rumors to Verificado's WhatsApp account and in turn were provided regular updates on what was accurate and what was false.

In India, too, the fact checking organization Boom Live is available on WhatsApp.

WhatsApp has taken cognisance of the Indian government's concerns about the propagation of fake news via its platform. As expected, WhatsApp will notify the participants in the group that the settings have been changed and they won't be able to send messages anymore in the group.

WhatsApp said it retains limited information and is end-to-end encrypted.

The messaging platform has been used to circulate rumors about child abductions. When one of them apparently tried to speak to a girl child, villagers, who had gathered for the weekly Sunday bazaar, pounced on them. This focus on privacy brings many benefits, though as with all technology there are trade offs.

"WhatsApp cares deeply about people's safety and their ability to freely communicate".

India has asked Facebook Inc. -owned WhatsApp messenger to take steps to prevent the circulation of false texts and provocative content that have led to a series of lynchings and mob beatings across the country in the past few months.

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