Government Asks WhatsApp to Find Solution for Tracing Origin of Fake Messages

Of late, WhatsApp is facing several questions from the Indian government regarding fake messages and mob-lynching on the platform. In a stern message to Whatsapp, the government today said the messaging platform would need to set up a local entity and find a tech solution to trace the origin of fake messages on its platform. IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, after meeting WhatsApp Head Chris Daniels, said the Facebook-owned messaging app had contributed significantly to India’s digital story, but it needs to find solutions to deal with “sinister developments”.


“I had a productive meeting with Chris Daniels, the CEO of WhatsApp. I complimented him for the awakening, which WhatsApp has led in the entire country… But there are also sinister developments, you must find solutions to these challenges, which are downright criminal and violation of Indian laws,” he said to PTI.

Prasad said he has asked WhatsApp to set up a corporate entity in India, appoint a grievance officer and find a technical solution to tracing the origin of fake messages on its platform.

“… I flagged in particular, which I had said earlier also, it does not take rocket science to locate a message being circulated in hundreds and thousands… you must have a mechanism to find a solution,” he said adding that Whatsapp could face abetment charges if no action is taken.

He said the Facebook-owned company has assured that it is working towards complying with these points.

India is one of the major markets for WhatsApp because it has over 200 million active users in India alone. The current Facebook entity was earlier looking to expand its payments service to all the users in India, but at the moment, WhatsApp’s entire focus seems to be working closely with the government and addressing the spam.

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4 Comments on "Government Asks WhatsApp to Find Solution for Tracing Origin of Fake Messages"


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August 21, 2018 9:47 pm 9:47 PM
I agree that these forwards have become a major problem but I don’t think WhatsApp can solve this without breaking encryption. Moreover I think that all the political parties’ IT cells spread quite a lot of fake news so they should stop first before trying to break WhatsApp. Also efforts in trying to educate people about these messages should continue. And don’t think that the government has completely pure motives here, without encryption they can potentially read all our conversations and God knows what they’ll go after, and to those who have complete trust in the government just remember that… Read more »
August 21, 2018 6:02 pm 6:02 PM

The solution for ending the FAKE messages on the WhatsApp is very simple. Now when a message is getting forwarded, WhatsApp is tagging it as forwarded message. Similarly WhatsApp have to include the first time message sender’s number also along with every message. This will help every one to pin point the originating point of each and every message. This will give due credit to the original message creator, in case of a good message and at the same time will discourage the fake message creator due the fear of getting tracked easily.

Sayak Roy
August 22, 2018 12:06 am 12:06 AM

But won’t that be a breach of privacy?

August 21, 2018 9:39 pm 9:39 PM

Yeah and who even cares about privacy? Why don’t you just give me your number right now? At least think before you write