fbpx
News

WhatsApp Ads Warn India After Mob Lynchings [Video]

After hoax messages circulated on WhatsApp triggered several incidents of mob lynchings in recent weeks in India, the Facebook-owned messaging platform published full-page advertisements in leading Indian newspapers advising users on how to identify false information.

The ads, published in English- and Hindi-language newspapers on Tuesday, came soon after Indian authorities asked WhatsApp to act immediately to curb the spread of false information.

Since May the lynchings of at least 24 people accused of being child kidnappers have been linked to the platform, used by more than 200 million Indians. Many other accused child kidnappers survived dozens of other mob attacks with injuries. Police found that mass-circulated WhatsApp messages carrying fake information about child kidnappers being on the prowl in the areas triggered almost all the attacks.

Last week, after Indian government sought “immediate action” from WhatsApp to stem the flow of false information, the company said it was “horrified” by the “terrible acts of violence” and would act to curb its abuse.

The full-page newspaper advertisements began with the line “Together we can fight false information” and carried 10 tips on how to spot fake news.

The tips included checking information with other sources, looking at photos carefully because they could be edited in a misleading way and thinking twice before sharing a message if you are not sure it is true.

“Fake news often goes viral,” read one tip while noting “Just because a message is shared many times does not make it true.”

This week WhatsApp also added a new feature which will label all forward messages as such, to let the receivers know that it was not created by the sender.

WhatsApp also said it had started an “education campaign” in India to spot fake news and rumours. “Our first step is placing newspaper advertisements in English and Hindi and several other languages,” the statement said. “We will build on these efforts.”

This story originally appeared in The Guardian. Image courtesy of Prakash Singh/AFP/Getty Images.

Join The Discussion

Iran’s President Blames US After Attack On Military Parade
Iran’s President Blames US After Attack On Military Parade [Video]
May's Brexit Plan Goes Pop After 'Humiliation' By EU
May’s Brexit Plan Goes Pop After ‘Humiliation’ By EU [Video]
Putin Seeks To Defuse Downing Of Russian Plane Off Syria
Putin Seeks To Defuse Downing Of Russian Plane Off Syria [Video]
Kim Agrees To Dismantle Main Nuke Site If US Takes Steps Too
Kim Agrees To Dismantle Main Nuke Site If US Takes Steps Too [Video]
China During Crypto Ban
China During Crypto Ban: One Woman Tries to Live on Bitcoin [Video]
Decentralized Crypto Exchange Is Solution To Hacks
Decentralized Crypto Exchange Is Solution To Hacks
Cryptocurrency Has Hit Bottom, Bitcoin Due To Bounce Back
Cryptocurrency Has Hit Bottom, Bitcoin Due To Bounce Back
Time To Regulate Bitcoin, Says Treasury Committee Report
Time To Regulate Bitcoin, Says Treasury Committee Report
How To Win Online Marketing With Memes
How To Win Online Marketing With Memes [Infographic]
4 Ways To Turn Your Blog Or Website Into Revenue
4 Simple Ways To Turn Your Blog Or Website Into Revenue
5 Psychological Reasons 'Social Proof' Beats Everything Else In Marketing
5 Psychological Reasons ‘Social Proof’ Beats Everything Else In Marketing
15 Big Reasons Your Business Needs Online Reviews
15 Big Reasons Your Business Needs Online Reviews [Infographic]
Vertical Video Ads Are Coming To YouTube
Vertical Video Ads Are Coming To YouTube
5 Tips For Brands On How To Use Facebook's 'Brand Collabs Manager' Tool
5 Tips For Brands On How To Use Facebook’s ‘Brand Collabs Manager’ Tool
How This Former Monk Became A Social Media Superstar
How This Former Monk Became A Social Media Superstar [Video]
Twitter Lite Expands To 21 More Countries
Twitter Lite Expands To 21 More Countries, Adds Push Notifications