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21st July 2018

WhatsApp to restrict message forwarding due to mob lynchings in India


Facebook-owned popular instant-messaging app, WhatsApp recently proclaimed to limit message forwarding to five chats at a time following notice from Indian Government because of increase in mob lynchings within the country. 
Mob lynchings triggered by false incendiary messages in India, WhatsApp’s biggest market with quite two hundred million users, led to authorities career for steps to forestall the circulation of false texts and provocative content. It additionally caused a PR nightmare.
“We believe that these changes — which we’ll still evaluate — will facilitate keep WhatsApp the method it absolutely was designed to be: a non-public electronic communication app,” WhatsApp said in an exceedingly journal post on weekday, asserting its worldwide check of limits on forwards.
WhatsApp failed to say what the limit on forwarded messages would be elsewhere, however in Asian country specifically, they’ll be restricted to 5 chats at a time, whether or not among people or teams. additionally in Asian country, WhatsApp can take away the fast forward button placed next to media messages.
The latest changes were welcome by technology consultants.
WhatsApp also will meet non-government bodies and alternative teams in national capital, the capital, on Friday to debate ways that to curb the unfold of false messages, said one source at the corporate, whoasked to not be named, invoking company policy.
India’s technology ministry, that had already this month demanded that WhatsApp rein in misuse, same in an exceedingly statement late on weekday that it needed simpler measures to make sure answerablenessand ease enforcement.
“When rumors and faux news get propagated by mischief mongers, the medium used for such propagation cannot evade responsibility and answerableness,” it said. “If they continue to be mute spectators they’re at risk of be treated as abettors and thenceforth face subsequent proceeding.”
WhatsApp has been told the problem is incredibly serious and “deserves a a lot of sensitive response,” it added.
Responding to the ministry’s earlier decision, WhatsApp had unrolled a replacement feature to label forwarded messages and alert recipients that the sender had not created the message.
In India, WhatsApp has printed advertisements in major newspapers with tips for its users to assist them decide “if one thing sent to you on WhatsApp is true.” It additionally started labeling forwarded messages on its platform to assist users confirm if their “friend or relative wrote the message they sent or if it originally came from somebody else,” the corporate wrote in an exceedingly separate journal post earlier within themonth.
A WhatsApp spokesperson said Friday that the corporate was horror-struck by the recent acts of violence in Asian country. braving such challenges display by information would “need action by government, civil society and technology corporations,” he said.

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