WhatsApp expands campaign to curb fake-news to 10 more states
Stepping up crackdown efforts on the spread of fake news, WhatsApp said it is expanding its radio campaign to 10 more Indian states, including Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, and West Bengal. The Facebook-owned company has been on an overdrive after facing severe criticism from the government over circulation of fake news on its platform that incited multiple incidents of mob lynching across India. Here's more.
First phase of radio campaign flagged off on Aug 29
WhatsApp kicked off the first phase of its radio campaign, which urges users to check the veracity of information received as a forward before sharing it with others, on August 29 in seven states including Bihar, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, and Uttar Pradesh.
Which are the 10 other states?
"The second phase of the campaign starts today with radio ads across 83 radio stations of AIR across the states of Assam, Tripura, West Bengal, Gujarat, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Orissa, and Tamil Nadu," WhatsApp said. These campaigns will run in eight regional languages - Assamese, Bengali, Gujarati, Kannada, Marathi, Telugu, Oriya, and Tamil - and will run for a 15-day duration.
Campaigns advise users about importance of verifying news
"The campaign has been designed in an easy-to-understand format to help users spot misinformation and further sensitize them about the challenges of fake news," WhatsApp said in a statement. These campaigns advise users to verify the authenticity of messages before forwarding them and to report content that contains inflammatory subjects. It also cautions users to be careful about forwarding messages that contain misinformation.
WhatsApp slapped with notices to check fake news circulation
WhatsApp, which has been slapped with two notices to check the spread of fake news, has taken a series of measures, including restricting the number of forwards and added forward label to help users identify such messages. However, it hasn't accepted the government's demand for traceability of messages saying creating such a software will go against the idea of user privacy and end-to-end encryption.
WhatsApp will be abettor if adequate steps not taken: Govt
With general elections slated to be held next year in India, the government is taking a tough stance on the use of social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and WhatsApp for the spread of misinformation. The government warned WhatsApp that it would treat the messaging platform as an abettor of rumor propagation and legal consequences will follow if adequate checks aren't put in place.