WhatsApp is planning to come up with a new feature in its messaging category. It has decided to limit the flow of messages at a time. This step has been taken owing to the pressure created by the Indian government due to the escalation of fake news and rumors through this medium that is in turn giving rise to more crimes.
WhatsApp announced on Friday that it is going to launch a test to limit the messaging in it. “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 five chats at once and we’ll remove the quick forward button next to media messages.”
Ministry of electronics and IT (MEITY) had earlier sent a severe ominous to the WhatsApp company asking it to come up with solutions that would help to control menaces happening owing to the spread of fake messages through it.
“There is a need for bringing in traceability and accountability when a provocative or inflammatory message is detected and a request is made by law enforcement agencies. When rumors and fake news get propagated by mischief mongers, the medium used for such propagation cannot evade responsibility and accountability.” It added that if they remain “mute spectators” they are liable to be treated as “abettors” and thereafter face consequent legal action.
At least 31 people have been killed over the last one year in 10 states including Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra by crowds mobilized by rumors of spread over WhatsApp.
WhatsApp needs to make some really stringent rules to tackle such issues.
It has issued a statement:
A few years back we added a feature to WhatsApp that lets you forward a message to multiple chats at once.
Today, we’re launching a test to limit forwarding that will apply to everyone using WhatsApp. 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 and we’ll remove the quick forward button next to media messages.
We believe that these changes – which we’ll 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.
We believe such rules are laid down at a faster rate as even the crimes due to this are increasing at an alarming rate, taking tolls of many innocent people around.