WhatsApp said on Tuesday it has launched a tip line for Indians to submit rumours and uncertain information, in the latest step by the messaging service to combat false news in India during the national election.
Facebook-owned WhatsApp said in a statement it was working with an Indian startup called Proto that will help to classify messages sent by users as true, false, misleading or disputed.
Ahead of the Indian Elections ─ starting April 11 ─ Facebook on Monday said it had removed 687 pages and accounts linked to India’s main opposition Congress party because of "coordinated inauthentic behaviour" on the social media platform.
Facebook said its investigation found that individuals used fake accounts and joined various groups to disseminate their content and increase engagement. Their posts included local news and criticism of political opponents such as Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Facebook said.
In July 2018, WhatsApp announced limits on the forwarding of messages by its 200 million Indian users in an effort to stop a spate of horrific lynchings and to assuage government threats of legal action in its biggest market.
More than 20 people have been butchered by crazed mobs in two months across India after being accused of child kidnapping and other crimes in viral messages circulated wildly on WhatsApp.