Fake News is one of the significant issues that the Indian government is facing right now. The government is constantly making efforts to curb on the increasing number of fakes news which has led to numerous lynching in various parts of the country. The Indian government is continuously in talks with WhatsApp, a leading instant messaging service for creating a potential platform to stop users from misusing the platform. WhatsApp Denies Indian Government’s Plea to Track the Origin of Messages on Its Platform.
Previously, WhatsApp CEO Chris Daniels met IT minister Ravi Shankar Prasad wherein the minister emphasised on tracing the origin of fake news and three measures for curbing it. However, WhatsApp CEO mentioned that building traceability would hamper end-to-end encryption. And weakening the privacy protections provided is strictly a 'No'.
WhatsApp continued to hold its stance that it cannot trace the origin of the messages because of end-to-end encryptions. WhatsApp spokesperson told PTI that, "Building traceability would undermine end-to-end encryption and the private nature of WhatsApp, creating the potential for serious misuse. WhatsApp will not weaken the privacy protections we provide." Happy Onam 2018 Wishes: WhatsApp Messages, Facebook Status, Quotes, GIFs Images & SMSes to Celebrate the Harvest Festival.
He further mentioned that "WhatsApp will not weaken the privacy protections we provide. Company's focus remains on closely with others in society for educating people about misinformation and help keep people safe."
The Indian government has asked WhatsApp to set up not only a corporate entity in India but also have a grievance officer in the country. Prasad asked that "You must have proper compliance of Indian laws. We won’t appreciate a scenario where any problem will have to be answered in America."
The Government of India is looking to take a stern view on the use of popular social media networks like Twitter, Facebook, WhatsApp, and others to stop the spread of misinformation and fake news as general elections are scheduled to happen next year in India. WhatsApp CEO Chris Daniels on India Visit This Week, May Meet IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad.
With over 200 million active users, India holds the largest market for WhatsApp wherein the global user base constitutes over 1.5 billion users. For curbing the spread of fake news, the company has restricted the number of forwards up to 5 chats or groups. Moreover, the company is also running an advocacy and education programme for assisting people to spot fake news.