WhatsApp updates govt on moves to plug fake news

WhatsApp updates govt on moves to plug fake news

To assuage the government's misgivings about the action taken to curb fake news on WhatsApp, the Facebook-owned company's senior executives met Information Technology Ministry officials and explained the measures to address the menace.

Company COO Matthew Idema and others met IT Secretary Ajay Prakash Sawhney here on Monday to discuss the steps being taken to tackle fake news.

In the meeting, the company's proposed payments service -- that is awaiting government nod -- also came up for discussion, sources in the IT Ministry said.

"Over the past week, WhatsApp executives have met with a broad range of digital literacy experts, business leaders, and government representatives to discuss India's growing connected society and the importance of private end-to-end encrypted messaging", a company spokesperson said.

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The spokesperson added that the "challenge of misinformation requires action from government, civil society, and technology companies" and that the company would engage with various stakeholders to tackle the problems.

The IT Ministry had sent two notices to WhatsApp asking it to come out with effective solutions to curb the menace of fake news. The notices were sent following the incidents of mob lynching in several parts of the country, mostly due to spreading of fake news through the messaging app.   

WhatsApp had responded to the first notice but is yet to send its response to the second. 

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