New Delhi (Sputnik): India has instructed WhatsApp to establish a local corporate entity to enable the storage of data in India and appointment of a grievance compliance officer for busting the fake news factory.
India's Minister of Information Technology Ravi Shankar Prasad, after meeting WhatsApp Head Chris Daniels in New Delhi on Tuesday, said the chat app has contributed significantly to India's digital story but it needs to find solutions to deal with "sinister developments" like mob lynching and revenge porn.
"There are also very sinister developments that provoke crime like mob lynching, revenge porn. You must find solutions to these challenges which are the downright criminal violation of Indian laws," Prasad told reporters outside his office after the meeting on Tuesday.
CEO of Whatsapp Chris Daniels met me today. I appreciated the role of Whatsapp in empowering people and also shared country's concerns about misuse of #Whatsapp and requested him to take suitable steps to address those concerns. pic.twitter.com/SciU23wX7O— Ravi Shankar Prasad (@rsprasad) August 21, 2018
"I suggested three points. First — WhatsApp must have a grievance officer in India. Second — you must have proper compliance with Indian laws. We won't appreciate a scenario where any problem will have to be answered in America and, third — WhatsApp has become an important component of India's digital storage and must have a proper corporate entity located in India," Prasad suggested Daniels.
WhatsApp could face abetment charges if no action is taken, Prasad added.
WhatsApp has already received two notices from the government of India to check the spread of fake news, which, in many cases, has led to mob lynching. WhatsApp responded by launching features to limit the number of forwarded message to five as well as by conducting "news literacy workshops."