Politics is a personal and emotional issue which makes social messaging apps such as WhatsApp ideal for the exchange of political views
With its increasing global reach the importance WhatsApp wields especially during poll season, is now becoming evident.
But with the massive popularity that Whatsapp enjoys in India, its misuse is quite evident too
In recent times, there have been several instances of fake news being spread through WhatsApp which led to the death of over 30 innocent people
With poll season now in full swing as voters decide which way to go in the ongoing 2019 Lok Sabha polls, fake news is spreading like fire on various social media
The Election Commission of India recently warned voters not to believe any message they receive on WhatsApp which claims that citizens can vote online
WhatsApp has also taken cognizance of the problem and put in place measures to curb the menace of fake news
Limiting the number of messages an individual can forward to five
Blocking mobile numbers which are proved to be spreading fake news and objectionable election-related content
According to WhatsApp, if the poll panel shares screenshots of the fake news, it will disable its chat service on phone numbers
WhatsApp is also reportedly “developing a new feature that allows users to search for an image on the Internet that you sent/received in your chats"
It has also run educational advertising campaigns nationally in 10 languages in television, print, online and radio to help prevent the spread of rumours and fake news
This month WhatsApp also unveiled its 'Checkpoint Tipline', where users can check the authenticity of information received by them
Indian users can submit misinformation or or any rumours they receive to the Checkpoint Tipline on WhatsApp (+91-9643-000-888)