Offbeat WhatsApp 'horrified' over India lynchings, promises action

10:55  04 july  2018
10:55  04 july  2018 Source:   msn.com

Child kidnap rumours spark five more Indian mob attacks

  Child kidnap rumours spark five more Indian mob attacks Indian police urged people Wednesday not to believe false rumours spread on WhatsApp after a woman was killed and a dozen hurt in the latest mob attacks to leave authorities looking powerless. In the worst of the five assaults in the western state of Gujarat on Tuesday, a destitute woman, Shantadevi Nath, and three others were attacked by around 100 people in the main city Ahmedabad."Half a dozen people surrounded the women as they were about to board an autorickshaw and started questioning them.

A mob in India lynched five people after rumors spread by WhatsApp messages prompted suspicion that they were child abductors, the latest in a spate of violent A police team reached the area after the lynching took place. Indian mob kills transgender woman over fake rumors spread on WhatsApp .

Police action comes after outrage over the killing of two men on 'child kidnapping' rumours circulated on social media. Guwahati, India - Police in the Indian state of Assam have arrested at least 18 people in connection with the lynching of two youths following rumours on social media and

Attacks spurred by rumours spread on WhatsApp have been reported in 11 Indian states © Provided by AFP Attacks spurred by rumours spread on WhatsApp have been reported in 11 Indian states

WhatsApp said Wednesday it was "horrified" by a spate of lynchings in India sparked by false rumours shared on its platform as the government accused the messaging service of irresponsibility.

More than 20 people have been killed in India in the last two months, according to media reports, after rumours were spread on smartphones about child kidnappers, thieves and sexual predators.

The attacks -- usually targeting outsiders -- have left authorities scrambling to mount an effective response, with awareness campaigns and public alerts having limited effect.

US envoy Nikki Haley goes on inter-faith journey in India

  US envoy Nikki Haley goes on inter-faith journey in India Nikki Haley, the U.S. envoy to the United Nations, is on an inter-faith journey in India, visiting a Hindu temple, a Sikh shrine, a mosque and a church in old parts of the capital. Born in South Carolina to Sikh immigrants from the northern Indian state of Punjab, Haley rolled breads at the Sikh shrine on Thursday, a religious way of paying obeisance to Sikh gurus.After visiting the Jama Masjid, one of the largest mosques in India, she interacted with a child sitting outside.She is on her first visit to India after taking over as the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations in 2017.

“Like the Government of India , we’re horrified by these terrible acts of violence and wanted to respond quickly to the very important issues you have raised. Also Read: Amid series of lynchings , Govt asks WhatsApp to curb spreading of ‘irresponsible messages’.

The warning to WhatsApp comes in the wake of a spate of incidents involving lynching of innocent people. The IT ministry said the abuse of platforms like WhatsApp "for Over the past few months, there have been a number of instances where mobs were instigated by fake WhatsApp messages.

A stern statement issued by the electronics and IT ministry late on Tuesday expressed the government's "deep disapproval" to the senior management of WhatsApp over the "irresponsible and explosive messages".

"The government has also conveyed in no uncertain terms that WhatsApp must take immediate action to end this menace," it added.

In a letter to the Indian government, WhatsApp said it "cares deeply about people's safety" and had taken steps to combat the scourge of fake news and hoaxes.

"We're horrified by these terrible acts of violence and wanted to respond quickly to the very important issues you have raised," WhatsApp said in the letter seen by AFP.

The company said it was working with Indian researchers to better understand the problem and had introduced changes it said would reduce the spread of unwanted messages.

Mumbai light plane crash kills five

  Mumbai light plane crash kills five A small plane crashed into a construction site in a densely populated area of India's financial capital Mumbai on Thursday, killing five people including one on the ground, officials said. "Five people have succumbed to their injuries after the chartered plane crashed, including one pilot, three co-passengers and a pedestrian," Mumbai police spokesman Deepak Deoraj told AFP.There were four passengers on the 12-seater aircraft when it crashed shortly into the construction site shortly after 1:30pm (0800 GMT), said Mumbai disaster management spokesman Tanaji Kamble.

Over the past few months, there have been a number of instances where mobs were instigated by fake WhatsApp messages. India News LIVE updates: Punjab govt proposes death penalty for drug smuggling1 day ago. Best of Express. Amid series of lynchings , Govt asks WhatsApp to curb

India is the largest market for WhatsApp with over 200 million users. The government’s warning to WhatsApp comes in the wake of a spate of incidents involving lynching of innocent people because of certain “fake and motivated” messages being circulated on the widely used messaging app.

It would also soon launch a new label in India to help users identify messages that had been forwarded as opposed to written by someone they know.

Rumours on WhatsApp about child kidnappers saw eight men killed in eastern Indian last year but the same information has since resurfaced.

Attacks have been reported in at least 11 states recently, most recently in Maharashtra where five men were bludgeoned to death by a crazed mob on Sunday.

Last week a "rumour buster" official tasked with warning the public against such hoaxes was killed in northeastern Tripura.

With more than 200 million users, India is WhatsApp's biggest market. Its parent company Facebook has also been grappling with a global data privacy scandal.

WhatsApp said it planned to run a public safety campaign in India "given its importance" to the company, and mentioned efforts by police to use its platform to raise awareness about its misuse.

"We believe that false news, misinformation and the spread of hoaxes are issues best tackled collectively: by government, civil society and technology companies working together," WhatsApp said.

"With the right action we can help improve everyone's safety."

Top India court slams gov't for ignoring upkeep of Taj Mahal .
India's top court on Wednesday slammed the federal government for a second time within weeks for being slow in taking steps to protect the Taj Mahal, the shining white monument to love. The Supreme Court orders the government to furnish full details of the steps being taken and action required for protecting the monument. (AP Photo/R.S. Iyer, File) NEW DELHI — India's top court on Wednesday slammed the federal government for a second time within weeks for being slow in taking s the shining white monument to love.

—   Share news in the SOC. Networks

Topical videos:

This is interesting!