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Whats App in India
Whats App dominates the Indian Chat App market. It is used by all layers of the demography. The prominent social media site is a staple in a smart-phone household. Recently even feature phone’s in India sport some version of Whats App to attract customers.
Although recently Whats App is facing heat due to misinformation being spread through Whats App.
Fake news and Misinformation on Social Media sites is nothing new for India. Previously several news have been spread on social media sites by the Indians purposefully to tarnish big corporation’s image. In the past it has been sent several times that Indian National Anthem has been voted the best in the world by the United Nations.
During the election year in 2014, the supporters of RSS and the ruling party are responsible for spread several fake news. Against their apposing political parties to sway the public opinion. The current ruling party and its supporters also used What App and Facebook to forward derogatory jokes about the then woman president of Indian National Congress, Soniya Gandhi and several other women of the opposing political parties.
WhatsApp and Fake News in India
In India several right wing groups keep looking for chance to instigate disputes. They use the dominant inter-OS social chat app, ‘WhatsApp’ to spread fear and hatred. Whats App in recent time has come under fire when a string of misinformation has spread about kidnapping in several areas. This being done using edit version of a video of a “children safety” instructional made in Pakistan.
The miscreants using this edit version of video started spreading fear among the general population. Although, very soon this video was pickup by several right wing groups. And they started forwarding this message with added text. Misleading people into believing that minorities in their areas moving in group were abducting children.
The incident that these fake news triggered.
Thus leading to lynching of several tribal men and men belonging to the minorities in their area. Hundreds of men belonging to Marathi speaking community killed innocent men in Maharashtra (Maratha men are generally known for their extreme and brutal violence against innocent non-Marathi civilians), several high society men and women killed Tribal men near Hyderabad. Further more incidents were reported in the State of Gujrat (Several Discriminating Hindu Gujaratis have been previously reported to have beaten Dalits to Death.), West Bengal etc. Several more deaths were eventually reported.
I will not be writing any instructions on how to Spot and Combat Fake news and misinformation. Rather I will post pictures provided by Whats App. And also from other media sources. And this is to ensure that I do not mistype or post wrong instructions.
Spotting Fake News and Misinformation on Whatsapp
Please Visit the following pages to learn more about tools to prevent yourself from being spammed or scammed.
So, visit this page to receive news about new tools introduced by WhatsApp to curb fake news: WhatsApp Blog.
Also, visit this page to get some safety tips from the developers themselves: WhatsApp Safety Tips.