Friday April 26, 2019
Home India Government Pr...

Government Pressure: WhatsApp to Limit Message Forwarding In INDIA

WhatsApp reacted: "In India, where people forward more messages, photos, and videos than any other country in the world, we'll also test a lower limit of 5 chats at once.

0
//
The app is adding more features to group chats. Wikimedia commons

 Hauled up second time by the government on its failure to check the spread of fake and provocative content on its platform amid growing lynching episodes, Whatsapp on Friday said it is launching a test to limit message forwarding to five chats that will apply to its users in India.

In its second notice on Thursday, the Ministry of Electronics and IT (MeitY) took a tough stand, asking WhatsApp to come out with more effective solutions that can bring in accountability and facilitate enforcement of law in addition to their efforts towards labelling forwards and identifying fake news.

“It has been conveyed to them in unmistakable terms that it is a very serious issue which deserves a more sensitive response,” MeitY said in the notice.

WhatsApp reacted: “In India, where people forward more messages, photos, and videos than any other country in the world, we’ll also test a lower limit of 5 chats at once.

“We will also remove the quick forward button next to media messages,” WhatsApp said in a statement.

The test, once comes to practice, will curtail WhatsApp’s services for over 200 million users in India. Globally, the company allows users to forward messages for up to 20 chats (either individuals or groups).

WhatsApp said that with new changes, which it will continue to evaluate, “will help keep WhatsApp the way it was designed to be: a private messaging app”.

“We are deeply committed to your safety and privacy which is why WhatsApp is end-to-end encrypted, and we’ll continue to improve our app with features like this one,” it added.

Whatsapp
“We will also remove the quick forward button next to media messages,” WhatsApp said in a statement. Pixabay

In its first reply to the IT Ministry, WhatsApp said the company is “horrified” by terrible acts of violence.

The IT Ministry had asked WhatsApp to ensure that the platform is not used for malafide activities over the growing instances of lynching of innocent people owing to large number of irresponsible messages filled with rumours being circulated on its platform.

The mobile messiging service listed several measures — including labelling Forwarding messages — in its first reply to control the spread of misinformation and abuse on its platform but failed to meet the requirements from the IT Ministry.

Several people have lost their lives in the past one year by lynch mobs after rumours of child lifting triggered via messages on WhatsApp.

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh for the first time admitted in the Lok Sabha on Thursday that fake news on social media has resulted in many mob lynching incidents in the country, saying the government has asked service providers to put a check on rumour mongering on social media.

Also Read-WhatsApp Begins Rolling Out ‘Restrict Group’ Feature For Admins

Expressing concern over the misuse of social media, Rajya Sabha Chairman M. Venkaiah Naidu also asked the government to evolve a national policy after discussing with all stakeholders including political parties to combat the menace.

The Supreme Court also issued 22 guidelines this week for the central and state governments to put an end to “horrendous acts” of vigilantism, lynching and mobocracy and directed them to work in tandem to take “preventive, remedial and punitive measures”. (IANS)

Next Story

WhatsApp Working on Feature to Bar Users From Taking Screenshots of Their Private Conversations

Details about the roll-out of the feature remains unknown

0
WhatsApp
WhatsApp on a smartphone device.

Facebook-owned instant messaging app WhatsApp is testing an ‘Authentication’ feature which would bar users from taking screenshots of their private conversations.

The new feature comes as part of a plethora of security changes that the app has been working on and introducing, keeping in line with the app’s commitment to user-privacy, web portal Independent reported on Tuesday.

The screenshot-blocking feature would be made available to users whenever WhatsApp plans to release the ‘Authentication’ feature, which is currently under development.

Before accessing into the app, the ‘Authentication’ feature would ask users to confirm their identities via their fingerprints, WABetaInfo reported.

On enabling the feature, even after confirming their identities, users would not be able to take a screenshot of their chats.

whatsapp business app
FILE – The WhatsApp app logo is seen on a smartphone in this picture illustration. VOA

“Fingerprint Security: When enabled, fingerprint is required to open WhatsApp and conversation screenshots are blocked. You can still reply to messages from notifications and answer calls if WhatsApp is locked,” a screenshot of the beta version of the ‘Authentication’ feature reads.

Information surfacing about this upcoming feature has left users in a state of confusion.

Also Read- Huawei Signs an Agreement with Infosys on New Cloud Solutions

“I don’t get it. What’s the point. How’s this useful. You’ve authenticated fingerprint security, that means your chat is secured. Why blocking screenshot, after all its your own chat, its your own WhatsApp, you should be able to do what you want,” a user replied on WABeta’s tweet informing users about the feature.

Details about the roll-out of the feature remains unknown. (IANS)