WhatsApp lists measures to tackle fake messages

5 men killed by mob in Maharashtra on suspicion of being child kidnappers

Now, 5 Lynched By Villagers In Maharashtra Over Child-Lifting Rumours

At least 20 people have been killed in attacks by mobs, mostly in rural villages, that had been inflamed by social media.

About a dozen people have recently been beaten up by crowds because of false messages on child abductors being spread through WhatsApp.

Although authorities clarified that there was no truth to the rumours, the deadly and brutal attacks, often captured on cellphones and shared on social media, have spread across Indian states.

"It has been noticed that SMS, WhatsApp and social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube are being widely used for transmission of fake images and videos as well as text messages which have potential to incite violence in the state at a larger rate", AK Shukla, the Tripura state police chief, told India Today.

An official familiar with the matter said on condition of anonymity the implicit message is that if the messaging service does not act, the government would be forced to act. It categorically told the popular messaging platform that it can not evade its accountability on the issue.

The government had on Tuesday issued a stern warning + to the social media platform asking it to take immediate measures to prevent the spread of "irresponsible and explosive messages".

"Like the Government of India, we're horrified by these bad acts of violence and wanted to respond quickly to the very important issues you have raised".

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On July 03, it said it had commissioned a set of global awards for researches studying the spread of misinformation.

WhatsApp said it does not want the platform to be used for spreading misinformation, adding the dissemination of false messages was a challenge that companies and society should address.

The Indian Express, an English-language daily newspaper, quoted a WhatsApp spokesman as saying, "The situation is a public health problem which will require solutions from outside the company as well, including the government".

In Mid-May, said WhatsApp, it added new protections to prevent people from adding others back into groups which they had left - a form of misuse we think it is important to correct.

Internet policy experts say WhatsApp doesn't have legal accountability and can not be held liable for the way people use it.

Whatsapp did not immediately respond to ABC News' emailed request for comment. Similarly, the app also introduced a feature which allows group administrators to decide who gets to send messages in a group. They also said they're trying to see that messages aren't forwarded without reading&understanding.

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