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Published: Wed, July 11, 2018
Global Media | By Abel Hampton

India slams WhatsApp over deadly rumours

India slams WhatsApp over deadly rumours

The Facebook-owned messaging service has been under vast pressure to curb the spread of misinformation in India after the lynching of more than 20 people accused of child abduction in the last two months.

Judging by the links (and malware spread through fake links) that are continuously being shared on the internet, this feature seems to be very useful.

WhatsApp new suspicious link feature will automatically check the authenticity of the website links being shared. Much like the "Pizzagate" incident in 2016, Indian residents reacted violently to claims that people in their area were abducting children or harvesting organs.

This is Whatsapp's third major attempt to curb spread of fake news via their platform.

WhatsApp, late on Tuesday, announced the launch of a new feature globally that will highlight when a message has been forwarded versus composed by the sender.

A newspaper vendor in New Delhi reads a paper with a full back-page advertisement from WhatsApp meant to counter fake information on July 10, 2018.

"Our first step is placing newspaper advertisements in English and Hindi and several other languages. It also helps you determine if your friend or relative wrote the message they sent or if it originally came from someone else", the messaging service said in a post. "We will build on these efforts", outlines the news advertisement.

Group admins can make a decision and even limit other users from sending messages in a specific group. If WhatsApp detects anything suspicious, the message will be marked with a red label in order to indicate danger.

WhatsApp has said it can block spam but cannot read the content of messages for privacy reasons, including potentially problematic content spreading in user chats.

In India, the surge of new smartphone users over the last few years has made the problem so serious, that so far 12 people have been killed as a result of misinformation spread through social media and messaging apps.

It has also been pointed out that such platform can not evade accountability and responsibility specially when good technological inventions are abused by some miscreants who resort to provocative messages which lead to spread of violence.

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