In a bid to fight misinformation, WhatsApp has joined hands with Delhi-based Digital Empowerment Foundation (DEF) to create awareness among users about the need to cross-check and verify information.
The move is aimed at preventing the circulation of misinformation that has recently led to a lot of violence and even deaths due to mob lynching. DEF will work with the likes of government officials, administration representatives, civil society organisations as well as students and help inculcate a habit of verifying information by running simple checks.
With assembly and general elections not too far away, DEF will host 40 training sessions in ten states across the country including in those where there will be polls before the end of the year. The sessions will encourage users to be more open towards other communities and to enable them to differentiate between opinions and facts.
WhatsApp's Public Policy Manager Ben Supple said, "Our goal is to help keep people safe by creating greater awareness about fake news and empowering users to help limit its spread."
Supple also hopes that these sessions will help build an "empathetic and conscious community" of WhatsApp users who learn to respond rather than to react to every message they receive.
In a recent meeting with WhatsApp CEO Chris Daniels, Union IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad instructed the popular chat platform to comply with the law of the land and take "suitable" steps to prevent its misuse.
While this isn't a major development in that direction, it certainly is one way of making an effort in getting there.