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    WhatsApp Offers $50,000 to Those Helping Tackle Fake News Menace in India

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    After being rebuked by the Indian government for its failure to curb fake news in its platform, social media giant WhatsApp has offered $50,000 to anyone who can come forward and render help to tackle the fake news menace in India which has unleashed a series of mob lynching in the recent past.

    New Delhi (Sputnik) — WhatsApp's offer is in the form of a research grant to social scientists to help combat the spread of "misinformation." The free Smartphone app, one of the most widely used messaging platforms in India, was rapped by the government of India earlier this week for not being able to restrain fake news going viral.

    WhatsApp, owned by Facebook, is offering up to $50,000 for proposals that "foster insights into the impact of technology on contemporary society in this problem space including election-related content, digital literacy and detection of problematic behavior within encrypted systems," the company's letter to the government of India accessed by the local media.

    India is the largest market for WhatsApp with over 200 million users in the country.

    "The abuse of platforms like WhatsApp for repeated circulation of such provocative content is a matter of deep concern," the government of India said in a release on Monday.

    Deep disapproval of such developments has been conveyed to WhatsApp's senior management and they have been advised that necessary remedial measures should be taken to prevent the proliferation of these fake news stories and at times motivated/sensational messages, it added.

    READ MORE: Journo: If Sputnik is Targeted Over Gov't Funding, Why Isn't 'Fake News' BBC?

    WhatsApp, in a response letter to the ministry, said it is "horrified by these terrible acts of violence" and that "false news, misinformation and spread of hoaxes are issues best tackled collectively by government, civil society and technology companies working together."

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    fake news, awareness, lynching, social media, violence, censorship, rumors, Facebook, WhatsApp, India
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