WhatsApp Will Modify Content Verification Method Used in Mexican Elections For India
WhatsApp will verify spurious messages that are being circulated before the polls kick in, especially 48-hours ahead of polling.
An upcoming WhatsApp update can potentially erase your important WhatsApp data. (Image: News18.com)
According to recent reports, WhatsApp and the Election Commission of India are coming together to solve the problem of fake news ahead of the 2019 General Elections in India. On the issue of the spread of fake news on social media and instant messaging platforms, regular meetings are taking place between the Government and Facebook-owned WhatsApp to control the spread of fake news before and during elections. However, at the moment, the Government of India has sent a second notice to WhatsApp to implement concrete measures. The Election Commission of India (ECI) is yet to weigh in on the debate involving the spread of fake news on WhatsApp.
Reportedly, WhatsApp will verify spurious messages that are being circulated before the polls kick in, especially 48-hours ahead of polling. It is also expected to bring a fake news verification model which was used during Mexican general elections, to India. This model is known as the Verificado. Verificado’s mission is broad; it was launched in March and has partners in 28 of Mexico’s 32 states. It helps in fact-checking and producing content across multiple social platforms, not just WhatsApp.
WhatsApp also told EC that it is committed to protect privacy and for this, it has launched end-to-end encryption feature as well. WhatsApp had recently come under the spotlight after fake news was attributed as the reason for a number of mob-lynchings in India recently. To recall, WhatsApp, which has been attempting to control the spread of rumours and fake news on its platform, added a feature which indicates as “forwarded”, any message that has been moved along in a sort of a chain by a particular or a set of users, and not created by that sender themselves, However, the government feels the new update isn’t enough.
The Supreme Court had also taken note of the increasing cases of lynching across the country and had asked the parliament to come up with special laws to deter such crimes. Interestingly, the Maharastra police have already set up a WhatsApp Helpline where users can check the authenticity of messages. The Telangana police are also working closely with village elders across the state to counter the spread of fake news messages on the instant messaging apps.
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