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WhatsApp to Train Users in India on Dangers of Fake News

WhatsApp has already taken several technological measures to curb the problem of disinformation, including the introduction of the "forwarded" tag and limiting forwarding to five chats at once

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WhatsApp
WhatsApp's moderators should have been able to find these groups and put a stop to them

After being asked by the central government to take steps to stop the spread of disinformation on its platform, WhatsApp on Wednesday roped in New Delhi-based non-profit Digital Empowerment Foundation (DEF) to create awareness among its users about the need to verify information.

“Our goal is to help keep people safe by creating greater awareness about fake news and empowering users to help limit its spread,” Ben Supple, Public Policy Manager at WhatsApp, said in a statement.

In a meeting with WhatsApp CEO Chris Daniels on August 21, Union IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad instructed the Facebook-owned platform to comply with the law of the land and take “suitable” steps to prevent its misuse.

The meeting took place after several lynching incidents were linked to the spread of misinformation on the instant messaging platform which has over 200 million monthly active users in India.

As part of the new partnership with WhatsApp, DEF has committed to holding 40 training sessions for community leaders in 10 states across the country where there have been worrisome cases of violence and where there will be state polls before the end of the year.

DEF said it would help educate government officials, administration representatives, civil society organisations and students to spread the word about this challenge.

WhatsApp
WhatsApp on a smartphone device. Pixabay

The training is expected to enable WhatsApp users to differentiate between opinions and facts, and to inculcate a habit of verifying information through simple checks before forwarding it to their friends and family.

In addition, DEF said it would incorporate this new training as part of their network of over 30,000 grassroots community members in seven states.

“We at WhatsApp and DEF hope these training workshops will help build an empathetic and conscious community of WhatsApp users who learn to respond rather than react to every message they receive,” said Osama Manzar, Founder-Director of DEF.

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WhatsApp has already taken several technological measures to curb the problem of disinformation, including the introduction of the “forwarded” tag and limiting forwarding to five chats at once.

“In addition to the steps we are taking within WhatsApp, we believe impacting lives through the power of education is critical to helping achieve the vision of a ‘Digital India’,” Supple added. (IANS)

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LinkedIn ‘Open For Business’ Feature In India

LinkedIn introduces its 'Open For Business' feature in India

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LinkedIn
LinkedIn introduces a feature that supports small and medium businesses (SMBs) and freelancers across the world. Pixabay

Microsoft-owned professional networking platform LinkedIn on Monday launched “Open for Business” in India — a feature that allows freelancers and small business owners to add their services to their LinkedIn profiles.

Initially rolled out in the US in July, the feature is now live in India and rest of the world and is a way for freelancers and small businesses to indicate they are “open for business”.

Acording to the company, this feature underlines its commitment to supporting small and medium businesses (SMBs) and freelancers across the world.

“With 660 million members and 30 million companies on the platform across the world, LinkedIn is uniquely positioned to help freelancers and small businesses be more productive and successful, whether they are based in Dubai or Dundee (Scotland),” Allen Blue, Co-founder and VP of Product Management, LinkedIn, said in a statement.

LinkedIn
LinkedIn is uniquely positioned to help freelancers and small businesses be more productive and successful. Pixabay

Based on the company’s research, small businesses are found to rely heavily on word of mouth, in order to bring in new customers.

“Open for Business” aims to digitise this word of mouth concept by making it easy for members to find, message, and provide references to each other.

With over 60 million users, India is LinkedIn’s fastest-growing and largest market outside the US.

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The company last month rolled out a ‘Made in India’ feature called ‘Events’ that allows members to create and attend events directly on both the app as well the web globally.

The USP of the product is the ability to enable safe online conversations and offline events. (IANS)