NEW DELHI: To prevent the misuse of its platform in the world’s biggest election, Facebook-owned messaging app WhatsApp said it is taking measures to fight bulk messaging and coordinated abuse on its platform.
It has been observed that political parties in India have been abusing the platform ahead of the general election.
Declining to name the parties or give the exact nature of the alleged misuse, a senior executive at Whatsapp said that there is concern that party workers could abuse the platform by using automated tools for mass messaging, or spread false news to sway voters.
WhatsApp on Wednesday also released a white paper in which it mentioned product changes and working with partners across civil society to address the harmful consequences of misinformation.
On educating political parties, WhatsApp said it facilitated political party trainings in the five Indian states with elections in 2018. The training emphasised that sending messages to users without their permission can lead to their accounts being banned.
“We will expand this effort and work with the Election Commission of India in the lead up to the national election in 2019,” it said.
Further, WhatsApp said that it has started support for fact checking, where is users looking for help can message can message fact checking organizations such as Boom Live and Alt News.