Have Solution To Fake News? WhatsApp Will Pay You Rs 35 Lakh For It

Rumours shared on WhatsApp have led to a number of lynchings in India

Under fire for its role in a number of lynchings across various states of India, WhatsApp messenger service is finally waking up to the growing violence unleashed through its platform.

According to a report in The Washington Post, the messenger, which is a part of social media giant Facebook, has announced research grants worth $50,000 (Rs 35 lakh approx.) to social scientists to combat the spread of “misinformation.” The instant messaging service is also inviting ideas with respect to “detection of problematic behaviour within encrypted systems”.


Source: Pixabay


The messenger platform in India has been in the eye of a storm, following gruesome lynchings in various Indian states that were triggered by the rumours shared on it. On Sunday, five people were lynched by an angry mob in Maharashtra’s Dhule after rumours of child-kidnappers sneaking into the area circulated on WhatsApp.

The incident triggered an outrage on social media against the messenger’s lack of scrutiny and accountability of the content shared on its platform. With over 200 million users, India is WhatsApp’s biggest market.

On Tuesday, India’s Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology issued a warning to the messenger service asking that “such platform cannot evade accountability and responsibility especially when good technological inventions are abused by some miscreants who resort to provocative messages which lead to spread of violence.”

Responding to the warning, the messenger service said it was “horrified by these terrible acts of violence and wanted to respond quickly to the very important issues you have raised. We believe this is a challenge that requires government, civil society and technology companies to work together.”