India and Its Spicy View of WhatsApp

November 2, 2018

Spam is a pain for your inbox, feed, social network messages, and pretty much anything else you do online. One of the worse things about spam messages is when someone does not know how to identify spam from the real stuff. According to Reuters, the Indian government is getting fed up with spam, says the article, “WhatsApp To Clamp Down On ‘Sinister’ Messages In India: Ravi Shankar Prasad.”

Facebook apparently said it would develop tools to help the Indian government detect spam and other content with the purpose of sparking mass hysteria. India is not any different from other countries when it is whipped into a frenzy: people get angry, there is collateral damage, and people get hurt. WhatsApp CEO Chris Daniels commiserated with India’s chief information technology minister Ravi Shankar Prasad. Prasad wants Facebook to design a way to track rabble rousing messages’ origins. The IT minister does not think it is rocket science to figure a message’s origins, seemingly not knowing what work is required in order to read the metadata and program the code.

WhatsApp’s biggest market is India with a 200 million strong market and where, quite astonishingly, people forward more content than any other country. The

“There are also concerns that supporters of political parties could use social media platforms such as WhatsApp to spread false messages in the run-up to India’s national elections in 2019.In July, WhatsApp said message forwards will be limited to five chats at a time, whether among individuals or groups, and said it will remove the quick forward button placed next to media messages.”

India appears to be fond of social interaction. One’s reputation, education, connections, and family status may make the difference between success and failure. Social networks are more complex than anything we experience in Kentucky. No surprise that WhatsApp will be put to interesting uses.

Whitney Grace, November 2, 2018


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