The government said: “It has been conveyed to them in unmistakable terms that it is a very serious issue which deserves a more sensitive response.”
On 16 July, a software engineer was lynched by a mob over child lifting rumours that were spread on social media, including WhatsApp, in Bidar in Karnataka.
The Government warned Whatsappthat it could face legal action “if they remain mute spectators” when rumours and fake news are propagated through such mediums.
In a second note to the US-based messaging platform, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MEITY) asked WhatsApp to come out with “more effective solutions” to prevent such incidents of mob violence.
Govt said: “When rumours and fake news get propagated by mischief mongers, the medium used for such propagation cannot evade responsibility and accountability.”
If they remain mute spectators they are liable to be treated as abettors and thereafter face consequent legal action,” the Centre said in a statement.