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Due to a string of lynchings that were triggered by misinformation on alleged child abductors being spread by using WhatsApp. the platform has now testing restricting users to forwarding messages up to five one-on-one or group chats at once.
Last week WhatsApp has also introduced a new feature to help users identify whether a message has been written by the sender or simply forwarded. The Facebook-owned platform is also planning to create a system for preventing the spread of fake news and provocative texts in consultation with academic experts and law-enforcement agents.
With more than 1.5 billion people across the world use the messaging app and about 230 million monthly active users in India the company has come under scrutiny after forwarded messages on the platform have allegedly incited mob-fury, triggering multiple cases of lynching across the country.
Addressing the issue the IT ministry said in a statement “When rumours and fake news get propagated by mischief mongers, the medium used for such propagation cannot evade responsibility and accountability. If they remain, mute spectators, they are liable to be treated as abettors and thereafter face consequent legal action,”