WhatsApp launches ‘tipline’ to tackle rumours ahead of elections

  1. WhatsApp has unveiled its ‘Checkpoint Tipline’, where people can check the authenticity of information received as the messaging giant looks to crack down on fake news ahead of the general election in the country.It has been developed in collaboration with PROTO,an Indian based skilling start up.
  2. WhatsApp users can submit all the information received through the messaging platform that they are uncertain about to the ‘Tipline’ on WhatsApp (+91-9643-000-888).
  3. Following this,PROTO’s verification centre will “seek to respond and inform the user if the information received is verified or not.The response will indicate if information is classified as true, false, misleading, disputed or out of scope and include any other related information that is available.
  4. The verification centre, in turn, will be able to review rumors in the form of pictures, video links or text. Apart from English, it will cover four regional languages – Hindi, Telugu, Bengali and Malayalam.
  5. Earlier,Facebook owned Whatsapp had faced criticism from the Indian government after a series of mob-lynching incidents triggered by rumours circulating on WhatsApp.
  6. Since then,WhatsApp had restricted forwarding messages to five chats at once.It has also been putting out advertisements in newspapers and running television and radio campaigns offering tips to users on how to spot misinformation.
  7. However,WhatsApp has so far resisted the government’s demand for identifying message originators,arguing that such a move would undermine the end-to-end encryption and the private nature of the platform,creating potential for serious misuse.