21:27 GMT +319 September 2018
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    India Instructs WhatsApp to Set Up Local Data Storage Unit

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    Facebook-owned chat platform WhatsApp has been facing a potential reputation crisis for quite some time as media reports suggest that at least 30 people were lynched to death due to fake video clips circulated through chat platforms across India over the last five months or so.

    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.

    READ MORE: WhatsApp Cries for Help in Tackling Fake News, Print Ads Come to Rescue

    "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. 

    Prasad underscored three points while asking WhatsApp Head Chris Daniels to deal with these sinister developments in India, which is WhatsApp's biggest market, with more than 200 million users.

    "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.

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

    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."

     

     

     

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    Tags:
    fake news, localization, mob, lynching, data collection, rumors, WhatsApp, information, India, Delhi
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