World Media

India 'WhatsApp child abduction rumours': Five more lynched

Media playback is unsupported on your device                  Media caption The India Whats App video driving people to murder

Reacting to this news, WhatsApp responded to the Government of India's letter on rumours spread via the app and said, "Like the Government of India, we're horrified by these awful acts of violence and wanted to respond quickly to the very important issues you have raised. The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology has taken serious note of these irresponsible messages and their circulation in such platforms", it said in a statement.

"The government has also conveyed in no uncertain terms that WhatsApp must take immediate action to end this menace and ensure that their platform is not used for such mala fide activities", it added.

"We believe that false news, misinformation and the spread of hoaxes are issues best tackled collectively: by government, civil society and technology companies working together", WhatsApp said.

The government is planning to take the help of social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp to check the circulation of false information and fake videos about "child-lifters" that have led to incidents of violence, including lynching of over a dozen people, officials said on Tuesday.

The senior management of the WhatsApp has been informed of the incidents and ruckus created by such circulated messages and have been instructed to take remedial measures to immediately contain the proliferation of the fake messages, it added.

Attacks have been reported in at least 11 states recently, most recently in Maharashtra where five men were bludgeoned to death by a crazed mob on Sunday.

"This year, for the first time, we also started working with fact checking organisations to identify rumours and false news - and respond to them using WhatsApp", the company said.

The Indian government is mulling a response to the rumors circulating on WhatsApp, which has some 200 million monthly users in India, making the country the app's largest market, according to the Washington Post.

"If Facebook were to ban end-to-end encryption to be able to monitor what's happening on WhatsApp, chances are people will move to free software alternatives (that do the same)".

A mob in India's Maharashtra state lynched five men they suspected of being child kidnappers. For example, there is now a public beta test that is labelling any forwarded message. For example, during the recent Presidential election in Mexico, WhatsApp worked closely with the news consortium Verificado.

We also respond to valid law enforcement requests to help them investigate crimes.