Unhappy with WhatsApp reply, Indian govt may send second notice

The government is dissatisfied with WhatsApp’s response to its warning to curb the spread of “explosive messages filled with rumours”, and has set up an internal group of officers to examine the possibility of sending a second notice.
 
ET has reliably learnt that IT ministry has tasked the group to identify specific technical measures which WhatsApp can be asked to implement. For this, sources said, experts will also be consulted.
 
The government is of the view that if WhatsApp can locate specific groups and target audiences for advertisement purposes, it should be able to use similar methods to identify groups where rumours and provocative messages are causing a stir. 
 
Also, ET has gathered that the government is in no hurry to give the go-ahead for WhatsApp Payments until it achieves satisfactory results on this front.
Sources familiar with the product development plans of the company said it is actively working on its business products like WhatsApp Business and new features like group calling, stickers and the JioPhone app.
 
They said besides its digital literacy campaign launched last week and the forward message indicator to curb fake news, WhatsApp is working with fact-checkers and the local police.
 
To see this forwarded label which was launched a week back, users need to have the latest supported version of WhatsApp.
 
WhatsApp had said this extra context will help make one-on-one and group chats easier to follow, and will help users determine if their friend or relative wrote the message they sent or if it originally came from someone else. 
 
In its letter to the Indian government on steps taken by it on rumours spread via the app, WhatsApp had said it had launched new protection measures in mid-May to prevent people from adding others back into groups which they had left.
 
The company had also said it plans to run long-term public safety ad campaigns in India and that it will publish new educational materials around misinformation and conduct news literacy workshops.
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