Regulate Whatsapp to prevent lynchings
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More than 20 people have been lynched in India in the past month. Old ladies, migrant workers, tourists have all met with a disastrous and painful end in the hands of mobs. In states varied as Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Assam, Maharashtra. All of them innocent.
All these lynchings are united by one thread. Scary messages about child lifters prowling in the neighbourhood. Such messages go around with false videos and spread virally. Moment anyone is suspected, a mob collects and thrashes them. And these are totally unsubstantiated; No child seems to have been lifted anywhere.
Whatspp is among the most used apps for its ease. However this ease aids mischief makers too. And it is totally secure and by the time the police finds it out, it is too late. Today we have a situation where any Indian citizen might be lynched for just being at the wrong place at the wrong time.
To prevent this, I request the Home Minister to take stock of the situation and use the I&B ministry to share radio and TV advertisements immediately.
He should also ensure that the purveyors of fake news are arrested without fear or favor. Anyone whose messages/ forwards which resulted in lynchings should be tried under Section 304; culpable homicide not amounting to murder. He should also make the social media titans like Whatsapp, Youtube and Facebook accountable, including under Section 304.
Facebook who owns Whatsapp was hauled up before the Senate in the US for elections. Here lives are being lost. I request them to acknowledge and make it tougher for people to do mindless forwards.There is enough AI to scan a video or message, quarantine it before forwarding it. Life went on fine without Whatsapp andi it will.
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