WhatsApp CEO Chris Daniel will be visiting India this week and may meet IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad to discuss concerns around fake news on its messaging platform.
Chris Daniel in his four-five days visit India today (August 21) will also meet business and government officials during his visit.
During the visit, WhatsApp officials have planned to discuss measures being undertaken to counter the issue of fake news on its platform as well as the impending launch of its payments services in the country.
Reportedly, the government officials have said that the ministry will reiterate its demand to WhatsApp to set-up an office in India for launching WhatsApp Pay, and also addressing the issue of traceability of messages.
It was only last month when the WhatsApp top executives and COO Matthew Idema had met IT Secretary and other Indian government officials to outline various steps being taken by the company to tackle fake news in India.
The issue started when reports surfaced that at least 31 people have been killed last year in 10 different Indian states by lynch mobs mobilised by rumors of child lifting that were spread over WhatsApp.
India government reacted sending out two notices to WhatsApp asking to take urgent measures to curb false information and rumors being spread through its messaging platform.
What Else Is WhatsApp Doing To Curb The Problem?
Recently, WhatsApp restricted its forward message limit to five chats for over 200 Mn users in India. The ‘forwards’ label was introduced last month by WhatsApp in India. It had also published a video to educate its users on fake news. WhatsApp claimed that the move will help keep the application the way it was designed to be – a private messaging app.
The Facebook-owned messaging platform has also assured the Election Commission that it would make all possible efforts to prevent misuse of the platform during the upcoming election cycle.
WhatsApp has also announced that it will be building a local team, including India’s head, as a part of steps to check fake news circulation.
Initially, WhatsApp had asked for support from the government and society in combating the issue of fake news. It had also announced that it will be giving users controls and information to help them stay safe and it is also planning to run long-term safety advertising campaigns in India.[The development was reported by ET]