WhatsApp COO Matthew Idema meets MeitY officials to discuss fake news issue

WhatsApp officials including Matthew Idema met MeitY secretary Ajay Sawhney following legal threats.

Following a threat by the government to take legal action over its inability to tackle the issue of fake news, a new report claims that top WhatsApp officials including the platform's COO Matthew Idema have met Ministry of electronics and information technology (MeitY) secretary Ajay Sawhney.

Representational image. Reuters.

Representational image. Reuters.

Though it is unclear whether the government is satisfied with any initiative WhatsApp has taken so far, Financial Express reports that a senior official told them that the government is seeking the origin of the fake news messages that have so far led to more than 25 deaths in the country.

The official, who seemed to be aware of the communication between MeitY and WhatsApp executives mentioned that the government wants WhatsApp to devise methods for identifying how such fake messages and content are being spread on its platform. "We have asked them to come out with solutions to identify how such content is spread so that law enforcement agencies can identify those antisocial elements that are spreading this," the official is quoted as saying.

The government has so far sent a couple of notices to WhatsApp this month, asking them to come up with sure-shot measures for tackling fake news at the source. WhatsApp meanwhile added a 'forwarded' tag feature to alert users about forwarded messages and also said that it will restrict the number of people a message can be forwarded to. The vastly popular chat platform is also reportedly working on a suspicious link detection feature.

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