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WhatsApp knocks down once again due to overflow of messages

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WhatsApp crashes on Dec 31st midnight, later restores
WhatsApp crashes on Dec 31st midnight, later restores. wkimedia commons
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London, Jan 1, 2017: Users in India and other parts of the world went into a frenzy after WhatsApp went down puncturing their plans to wish their friends a “prosperous 2018” at the stroke of midnight. It was restored in two hours.

At midnight, a large spike was seen in the number of reports that the messaging service was suffering outages in India, Japan, Britain, Barbados, Panama, South Africa, Spain and Qatar, The Mirror reported.

According to downdetector.co.uk, it received 2,012 reports that WhatsApp was not working at its peak.

Thousands of people took to Twitter and other social media platforms to express anger, as well as connect with their dear ones, while the Facebook-owned instant messenger remained dormant for almost two hours on Sunday.

Several people used social media to vent their frustrations using the #whatsappdown.

One Twitter user wrote: “Nothing could’ve been better than whatsapp servers crashing on new year’s eve #whatsappdown #WhatsApp”

Another said: “Open Whatsapp. Send message. Nothing. Airplane mode on. Airplane mode off. Nothing. Open twitter. See £whatsappDown. Find relief that it’s not just me. #HappyNewYear2018.”

The app appeared to display a permanent loading wheel with messages failing to deliver. Whatsapp later apologised.

“WhatsApp users around the world experienced a brief outage today that has now been resolved. We apologise for the inconvenience,” a spokeswoman for the messaging service was quoted as saying.

Meanwhile, some smartphones could have experienced this problem due to WhatsApp cutting support for some operating systems.

Last week, the company confirmed that the mobile messaging app will stop working on a number of platforms from December 31.

The messaging app dropped the support for ‘BlackBerry OS’, ‘BlackBerry 10’, ‘Windows Phone 8.0’ and older platforms, from December 31.

“We will no longer actively develop for these platforms, some features may stop functioning at any time,” WhatsApp had said at that time. (IANS)

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WhatsApp Partners With DEF To Train Community Leaders in Order To Tackle Fake News

The teams will also cover key states such as, West Bengal, Assam, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Tripura and Jharkhand by March 2019, the statement said

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WhatsApp, DEF train community leaders to tackle fake news. Pixabay

Aiming to address the challenge of misinformation during the upcomimg Rajasthan Assembly polls, WhatsApp on Monday conducted training for community leaders here, in partnership with the Digital Empowerment Foundation (DEF), the Facebook-owned mobile messaging platform said.

The education workshop encouraged WhatsApp users to see themselves as “agents of change” by addressing socio-behavioural change and empowered them to spot false news.

The training will also enable them to differentiate between rumours and opinions; shared subsequent steps to tackle instances of false news and tips to stay safe on WhatsApp.

“WhatsApp is proud to have played a part in helping millions of people in Rajasthan to freely connect with their loved ones anywhere in the world. These trainings are a key part of our strategy to help people stay safe and limit the spread of harmful rumours this election season” said Ben Supple, Public Policy Manager, WhatsApp, in a statement.

The curriculum further delved into how users can contact fact-checking organisations like Altnews and Boom Live to accurately verify information when they are in doubt.

The training was attended by over 100 participants including from local government administrations, law enforcement authorities, college students, NGOs and community leaders who are dedicated to the technological empowerment of their society, especially villages and semi-urban centre.

WhatsApp
WhatsApp on a smartphone device.

“While the problem of misinformation is not restricted to rural areas alone, it is the rural population that majorly lacks access to alternative news sources for sake of verification,” said Osama Manzar, Founder and Director, DEF.

“We see education as the only solution to this problem, and we know that when we teach them some basic verification techniques, they’re going to tell at least two other people about it, creating a ripple effect and potentially fighting misinformation.”

Additionally, WhatsApp and DEF will organise workshops as a part of their Community Information Resource Centre (CIRC), where they will conduct training sessions targeted at grassroots communities in rural areas across five states in India, the company said.

In August, WhatsApp was asked by the central government to take steps to stop the spread of disinformation on its platform.

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WhatsApp roped in New Delhi-based non-profit DEF and initiated a series of educational workshops in 10 key election states including Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Mizoram, Rajasthan and Telangana.

The teams will also cover key states such as, West Bengal, Assam, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Tripura and Jharkhand by March 2019, the statement said. (IANS)