WhatsApp Payments formal launch could see a delay over the fake news issue: Report

The government is dissatisfied at WhatsApp's unwillingness to curb fake news and misinformation.

WhatsApp Payments may have to wait for some more time have a formal launch in India.

According to a report by the Economic Times, the government seems to be dissatisfied at WhatsApp's unwillingness to curb fake news and misinformation. It has reportedly set up an internal group of officers to examine if a second notice can be sent to Facebook-owned WhatsApp.



The government feels that if WhatsApp is capable of identifying groups to target for advertisements, it can also find out where the fake news pieces were emerging from.

Additionally, the IT ministry has reportedly set up a group to identify technical measures WhatsApp can take to implement. It will also consult experts for this purpose.

Therefore, it is hesitant to give a green signal to the Payments feature in WhatsApp. The Facebook-owned messaging app is yet to receive an official nod from the National Payments Corporation of India, a government body which deals with UPI-based services.

Meanwhile, WhatsApp is working on the development of its business app such as the WhatsApp Business which has launched in India, it is also working on a group calling feature, stickers among other features.

The problem of fake news and misinformation has become rampant in India, where on 1 July, five people were lynched at Dhule in Maharashtra after a mob was enraged by a WhatsApp forward which was fake. Incidents like these led the government to ask WhatsApp to address the issue with fake news.

Recently, WhatsApp rolled out a "forwarded" label which will tell the recipient if the message they have received has been forwarded.

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