India asks WhatsApp to prevent misuse after mob killings
NEW DELHI — India’s government has asked WhatsApp to take immediate action to prevent the social media site from being misused to spread rumors and irresponsible statements like those blamed for recent deadly mob attacks.
At least 20 people have been killed in mostly rural villages in many Indian states by attacking mobs that were inflamed by social media. Victims were innocent people accused in the viral messages of belonging to gangs trying to abduct children.
India’s ministry of electronics and information technology said in a statement late Tuesday the lynchings were tied to “irresponsible and explosive messages” circulated on WhatsApp. It wasn’t specific on preventative measures it expected.
The social messaging platform owned by Facebook said in a blog it would institute awards for research on “spread of misinformation” on its platform. /ee