WhatsApp is also testing limiting message forwarding in India to 5 chats to curb the spreading of fake news.

WhatsApp to bring fake news verification model used in Mexican elections to India
Atom WhatsApp Friday, July 20, 2018 - 11:37

With fake messages sent over WhatsApp leading to violent incidents in various part of the country, the instant messaging company will soon bring a fake news verification model to India. This is the same model that WhatsApp used during the Mexican general elections.

WhatsApp developed a collective fact-checking exercise called ‘Verificado model’ during the Mexican general elections, which will be brought to India. Similar such exercises have been put in place in Brazil as well.

According to a report from the Economic Times, senior executives of WhatsApp met with the Election Commission in a bid to help prevent spam messages and misuse of its platform as state polls approach. It also assured them of privacy.

It has also told EC officials that it will look out for spam messages that could be sent once the model code of conduct kicks in prior to the state elections, especially 48 hours before the polling starts. It will take the learnings from its actions for the state elections to put in place a broader framework for the upcoming general elections in 2019.

The country has witnessed several lynchings, especially of those mistaken to be child kidnappers, after fake messages were circulated over WhatsApp.

Read: ‘He begged for his life, they didn’t listen’: Survivors of Bidar lynching recount

In a bid to curb such violent incidents, WhatsApp is also testing limiting message forwarding in India to 5 chats. This came after warning from the government to stop spreading of ‘irresponsible and explosive messages filled with rumours and provocation’.

To this, WhatsApp suggested the use of machine learning techniques to identify such content. As per the ET report, Machine Learning will help detect sequential numbers used to create groups. WhatsApp will also put in place tools that can differentiate between good and malicious users.

Interestingly, India, which is WhatsApp’s biggest market with over 250 million users, is the country which forwards messages, photos, and videos the most.

Also read: Facebook to start removing posts that spur violence

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