Indian netizens on Monday targeted Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bachchan and business tycoon Anand Mahindra for sharing WhatsApp-fed misinformation with their 41.6 million and 7.7 million Twitter followers respectively. #UninstallWhatsApp is trending on Twitter in India.
While Bachchan is known for sharing poems and behind-the-scene snaps from movie sets, multi-billionaire Mahindra is noted for his fun-filled tweets on the micro-blogging platform. However, both Bachchan and Mahindra recently landed in trouble after tweeting misleading and superstitious messages on Twitter. Both of the tweets have been deleted.
Amitabh Bachchan spreading fake news pic.twitter.com/CMuXZ9vK0E— Multiple Attitude Dude (@mAd___00) March 23, 2020
You: There's no need to romanticise poverty right now.— Debobroto Sensharma (@koli_motte) April 26, 2020
Anand Mahindra: Ooh. Leaf.
You: You literally got rich selling tractors and automobiles.
Anand Mahindra: Leeaf.
You: A leaf is a really, really shit mask.
Anand Mahindra: L E F A pic.twitter.com/LKEQfvZY1C
Accusing the public figures of not verifying information before sharing it with millions of their followers, some Indians are signing a petition addressed to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg asking him to disable WhatsApp for 77-year old Bachchan and 64-year old Mahindra.
The request has been filed by a popular parody account who goes by the handle of ‘Rofl Gandhi’ on Twitter on a public petitions platform called Change.org. As of now, the petition has been signed by over a thousand individuals.
“A megastar and a renowned industrialist are falling prey to fake news & bizarre content being fed to them via Whatsapp. We need to restore the dignity of the two gentlemen. Through this petition we are requesting Mark Zuckerberg to disable Whatsapp on their numbers,” the petition on Change.org reads.
The news comes just days after Facebook invested $5.7 billion in India’s largest telco Reliance Jio, which is owned and operated by Asia’s richest man Mukesh Ambani.
Netizens following the #UninstallWhatsApp trend on Twitter, are flooding the micro-blogging site with memes.
Earlier in April, WhatsApp imposed a limit on the forwarding of messages. Frequently forwarded messages can now only be sent to one chat at a time, which slows the process of fake news spread.
In 2019, WhatsApp labeled messages that were forwarded from one chat to several others with double curved arrows.