WhatsApp has been warned by Indian government after a spate of viral WhatsApp messages led to lynchings across the country.
The government said that ‘a large number of irresponsible and explosive messages filled with rumours and provocation are being circulated on WhatsApp.’
These messages have led to killings in many states such as Assam, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tripura and West Bengal which the press release noted ‘were deeply painful and regretable.’
The press note said:
“While the Law and order machinery is taking steps to apprehend the culprits, 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. The Government has also directed that spread of such messages should be immediately contained through the application of appropriate technology.”
Further, it said that such platform cannot evade accountability and responsibility especially ‘when good technological inventions are abused by some miscreants who resort to provocative messages which lead to spread of violence.’
The Government also said that it 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.’