Strike the root! Which one? In the backdrop of horrific lynching of innocent men by crazy mobs in several different parts of India as a consequence of child kidnapping rumors, ‘WhatsApp’ has finally rose present its thew. The ‘Facebook’ owned firm will test with removing the ‘quick forward button’ and cap the number of forwards per person. The ministry of Information and Technology warned; “If WhatsApp remains mute spectators they are liable to be treated as abettors and thereafter face consequent legal action.” Presently, the firm is on action mode to assuage government threats of legal actions in its biggest market.
WhatsApp has a market of 200 million in India and it would hit them hard if the country decides to adopt the legal course. As a quick preventative step, it removed the quick forward button in India and capped the number of forwards to 5 per person in the country, whereas for the rest, it is 20. Earlier, it was 250 forwards in all countries. The firm is also working on full page newspaper advertisements to disseminate tips to spot misinformation.
The government is working with WhatsApp officials to curb any further menace of rumors, mis guiding and enraging mobs.
Social media platforms have a role alpha in the general election or even the By-elections. Their misuse can cause great trouble for any democratic country and ‘Cambridge Analytica case’ severs a good precedent for the same. Hence WhatsApp, taking care of the upcoming 2019 general elections has informed the ‘Election Commissioner’ about Verification model or ‘Verificado’ in India. This tool has earlier been used in Brazil elections and Mexico elections. In Brazil it garnered 24 media outlets to verify the viral content and rumors. WhatsApp has assured that it will take the necessary steps to curb any misuse of the platform in the 2019 elections.
Talking of 2019 elections and preventing the misuse of Facebook owned firm does not bring the elections as well as the billion dollar company into the safe zone. Facebook itself poses a notable threat to the 2019 elections as we learnt from the ‘Analytica case’ mentioned earlier. What will Facebook do about that? Will Facebook change the ‘share’ option for the Indian users? Is there another elections meddling app active through Facebook?!!
WhatsApp today has gained a reputation of necessity rather than being a luxury for us. The students, teachers, parents, politicians, in fact everyone, ‘need’ WhatsApp today to bridge the communication gap. Responsible and knowledgeable citizens should take care of denouncing viral rumors and inform their respective groups; not to spread it further.
Henceforth, we need to strike all the roots but, together…
About the Author:
A gregarious man with diverse academic exposure studied in India and abroad. A Professional guitarist and just love music and good food. Writing is my strength it is my own voice reaching out to the masses to make a difference.