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Whatsapp CEO Chris Daniels meets IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad

Whatsapp has over 20 crore active users in India. It’s become a vital communication tool for a large part of the populace but anti-social elements too end up taking advantage of it from time to time.

The Indian govt has now toughened its stand in seeking accoutability from social media platforms such as Whatsapp.

Tuesday saw Information and Technology Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad being called upon by Whatsapp CEO Chris Daniels in New Delhi.

The Minister appreciated Whatsapp’s contribution to India’s digital progress but at the same time made it clear that it needs to take more concrete steps to stop misuse which triggers sinister incidents like lynchings & revenge porn.

In no uncertain terms..the Central govt has told Whatsapp to

— Establish a corporate entity in India adhering to Indian laws

— Appoint a Grievance Officer to ensure swift lodging & redressal of complaints

— Whatsapp can be charged with abetment if it doesn’t adhere to Indian laws

— Technical solution should be found to trace the origin of fake messages on the platform

— System should also be evolved to share information about messages spreading fake news

Several incidents of violence & social tension have been triggered in recent times due to spread of fake messages on social media platforms with Facebook owned Whatsapp topping the list.

Upon the Centre’s urging.

Whatsapp has in recent months taken several steps to check such instances of misuse.

Apart from issuing advertisements in national dailies telling people how to avoid falling prey to fake news.

Whatapp has also tweaked some of its features. A single message cannot be shared more than 5 times at one go.

A forwarded message can also be identified easily now. But there’s a lot more that Whatsapp can do to stop misuse of its platform.The govt has pointed it in the right direction.

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