Amid outrage over mob lynchings in India, WhatsApp finally responds to Modi govt’s letter

India told Facebook-owned WhatsApp to take “immediate action” after a spate of horrific lynchings sparked by false rumours being shared on the hugely popular smartphone messaging service. More than 25 people have been killed in India in recent months after rumours were spread on smartphones about child kidnappers, thieves and sexual predators.

Reacting to this news, WhatsApp responded to the Government of India’s letter on rumours spread via the app and said, “Like the Government of India, we’re 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.”

A stern statement issued by the electronics and IT ministry late on Tuesday expressed the government’s “deep disapproval” to the senior management of WhatsApp over the “irresponsible and explosive messages”. “The government has also conveyed in no uncertain terms that WhatsApp must take immediate action to end this menace,” it added.

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