‘Can’t cooperate anymore, may cease operation’: Whatsapp on Govt regulations to curb fake news 

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“We have already taken several steps to curb the misinformation. The proposed social media regulations by the government, are likely to threaten the very existence of Whatsapp in India. We may cease the operation if the demand for regulations is enforced.” Facebook-owned Whatsapp’s top official has expressed his grievance while speaking to IANS. 

“Some of the proposed regulations, the one which concerns us the most is the traceability of messages. The Whatsapp is ‘end-to-end’ encrypted program by default, and even the platform team can not browse the information exchanges. The proposed regulation will lead us to a complete change in the product architecture. Thus we cannot cooperate more.” Carl Woog, the communication head of Whatsapp told the agency.

With the base of 200 million active users in India, that makes India is the biggest market, Whatsapp has spread of 1.5 billion users across the world. ‘Most rampant, lesser rigor on users’ compared to other social media platforms Whatsapp has come under the noose by the government after the misformation, fake news and rumors led to the lynching and violence cases, and the chat service didn’t have any grievance officer appointed on board.

Afterward, the Whatsapp rolled out the TV and print campaign for News Literacy among the users. The platform also did the changes in the product, e.g. flag the user’s account and Whatsapp to investigate such reported matters, limiting the broadcast of bulk messages. Further, according to Woog who has also worked as Barak Obama Admin’s spokesman, the Whatsapp bans nearly two million doubtful accounts every month.

“We have also identified the chief grievance officer whom the users can direct approach” to address high priority demand by the Indian government, Mr. Woog told the agency.

On another line, speaking to Reuters, Carl Woog expressed his sheer annoyance on India’s political parties blaming Whatsapp for misuse.

He said that the platform’s challenges in India are same as across the world. Before Brazil’s October election, it was flooded with rumors and conspiracy theories, and the concerns got highlighted for the distortion of political discourse. We have seen parties attempt to misuse Whatsapp. We have a firm message to the political parties to be ready for banning our services.

The Indian Government is yet to respond on WhatsApp top executive’s reaction.


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