With over 200 million users in India, WhatsApp has a massive Fake News and misinformation problem. The platform is now rife with all kinds of misinformation, whether political, religious, historical, medical, social or legal. Political parties use the platform to rally supporters, and "IT Cells" are believed to be using the platform for spreading misinformation and hate speech. These are then forwarded by their supporters to millions of others, from person to person. Local administration often doesn't know what to do when mobs start collecting and rioting, apart from shutting down Internet access. According to SFLC.in's Internet shutdowns tracker, India had 70 Internet shutdowns in 2017, and in the first six months of 2018, we're already at 65. More recently, mobs have attacked and killed people, following the spreading of a video clip warning about gangs kidnapping children. This is going to get worse. The platform solution to this problem This is a complex problem with no single solution: there is no silver bullet here. Solutions include counter speech, user education and debunking of misinformation from both the government administration and media. We need strong law enforcement to prevent mobs, as well as speedy justice for the victims (as a deterrent). The challenge with dealing with Fake News and misinformation is that WhatsApp's end-to-end encryption doesn't allow even the platform to access messages. While the encryption provides privacy for users when they're messaging, given the anonymity involved in forwarded messages, the platform becomes an enabler for the spread of misinformation.…
- Explained: The G20 Task Force On Digital Public Infra for Economic Transformation, Financial Inclusion & Development April 1, 2023
- MediaNama Daily: The Great Indian Surveillance Spectacle April 1, 2023
- Are Courts Doing Enough To Question “Proportionate” Intrusions on Privacy And Other Rights? #NAMA March 31, 2023
- Why did PhonePe cancel its deal to acquire ZestMoney? March 31, 2023
- RTI: Chennai police confirms 9 drones as part of a Drone Police Unit and here’s why it’s important March 31, 2023
MediaNama’s mission is to help build a digital ecosystem which is open, fair, global and competitive.
Amazon announced that it will integrate its logistics network and SmartCommerce services with the Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC).
India's smartphone operating system BharOS has received much buzz in the media lately, but does it really merit this attention?
After using the Mapples app as his default navigation app for a week, Sarvesh draws a comparison between Google Maps and Mapples
In the case of the ‘deemed consent' provision in the draft data protection law, brevity comes at the cost of clarity and user protection
The regulatory ambivalence around an instrument so essential to facilitate data exchange – the CM framework – is disconcerting for several reasons.
Please subscribe to MediaNama. Don't share prints and PDFs.
You May Also Like
Google has released a Google Travel Trends Report which states that branded budget hotel search queries grew 179% year over year (YOY) in India, in...
135 job openings in over 60 companies are listed at our free Digital and Mobile Job Board: If you’re looking for a job, or...
Twitter takes down tweets from MP, MLA, editor criticising handling of pandemic upon government request
By Aroon Deep and Aditya Chunduru You’re reading it here first: Twitter has complied with government requests to censor 52 tweets that mostly criticised...
Rajesh Kumar* doesn’t have many enemies in life. But, Uber, for which he drives a cab everyday, is starting to look like one, he...