In the past five months, WhatsApp has spent over Rs 120 crore in India on print, television, and radio advertisements, in order to fight its pestering problem of fake news, Economic Times reports.
And now, in its second phase of advertisements, which is scheduled to kick off by end of March 2019, will reportedly see an even larger investment in the campaign. This already alarming issue has been made more urgent by the upcoming general elections in India, that are expected to be held sometime in April or May.
To top that, the Indian government has also proposed an IT draft bill, according to which, apps and websites that are unable to monitor the spread of fake news and child pornography content, maybe penalised with a shutdown.
Last month, the IT ministry also met with senior executives of Google, Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter, and few other companies to discuss the proposed changes in the Information Technology (IT) rules, where they were told that if the proposal is approved, the tech companies will be required to deploy tools to “identify” and curb unlawful content as well as follow stricter due diligence practices.
While the problem of fake news has unquestionably to be dealt with, the Indian government has now also proposed for regulation of users content. To this, companies like Facebook and Twitter are apparently gearing up to push back.