India urges operators to block Facebook, WhatsApp in case of misuse

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WhatsApp says Indian people forward more messages, photographs and videos than any other country.

WhatsApp told the Times that it works to remove people using hacked versions of its service, but said the ability to manipulate quotes wasn't a flaw.

Globally WhatsApp will restrict the number of forwards to 20 chats; in India it is testing a lower limit of 5 chats.

With 200 million users in India, WhatsApp took to beefing up security features on priority rolling out features that would help regain India's trust. On 3 July, the IT ministry directed WhatsApp to take appropriate measures to curtail the spread of fake and provocative messages through its platform.


The report comes at a time when WhatsApp and parent Facebook have been taking a lot of heat over their role in spreading fake news. But the very fact that such an attack can be performed is terrifying and can be damaging to the Facebook-owned Chat messenger and its user base.

Meanwhile, we will share 4 features from Whatsapp, which have been developed to stop the spread of fake news and hatred messages.

Following multiple incidents of mob lynching across the country, the government had slapped WhatsApp with two notices, with the second one warning that it will treat the messaging platform as an "abettor" of rumour propagation and that legal consequences will follow if adequate checks are not put in place.

The move was announced by WhatsApp last month.


The app noted it recently placed a limit on forwarding content, added a label to forwarded messages, and made a series of changes to group chats in order to tackle the challenge of misinformation.

The company also started marking the forward messages as "forwarded" and said it will run public safety ads against fake news.

Although WhatsApp has tried to mend the issues the Indian government has been considering ways to ban the service, along with other social media tools like Facebook, in the event of an emergency.

Instant messaging app WhatsApp has finally rolled out the limited "forward message" option for India, which restricts a forward message to just five users, the company said on Wednesday.


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