INDIA Asked WhatsApp to Put In Place Domestic Entity In India A Designate Grievances Officer: Ravi Shankar Prasad

WHATSAPP has assured India to help curb fake news and rising crime due to the circulation of viral messages on social media platforms. Union Minister   for Information and Technology Ravi Shankar Prasad on Tuesday met Whatsapp CEO Chris Daniels at New Delhi and suggested measures to deal with the growing menace. Prasad said what has a growing market having 1. 3 billion members out of 200 billion across the globe can play more productive role in promoting socio-economic changes . Undoubededly, WhatsApp is a boon to citizens of India. But it cannot be overlooked some ‘sinister developments’ provoking crimes like mob lynching and revenge porn are being promoted on the social media. The Government and the WhatsApp CEO had a ‘productive’ meeting, Prasad   said.  The widely-used platform needs to ‘find solutions to these challenges. .Downright criminal violation of Indian laws ‘by vested interests  cannot be allowed .The ministry put forth three measures that the platform can take to combat fake news. To begin with, WhatsApp must have a grievance officer in India. Second, there should be proper compliance of Indian laws.  “We won’t appreciate a scenario where any problem will have to be answered in America.” He added, “WhatsApp has become an important component of India’s digital storage,” and thus a proper corporate entity must be located in India. Prasad also complimented Daniels for the extraordinary technological awakening that WhatsApp has led in the country. He said that ‘positive developments’ took place especially in sectors of education, healthcare, and the recent relief work in Kerala. Meanwhile, under unrelenting pressure from the GOI to effectively handle the menace of rumours and fake news on its platform, Whatsapp has announced measures to curtail mass forwarding of messages, images and videos. Responding  to the  government’s  notice WhatsApp has outlined initiatives  to curb fake news circulation including education and advocacy efforts but noted that the measures did not meet the government’s expectations on ‘traceability’ and attribution of such messages.

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