WhatsApp to limit message forwarding

This photo illustration shows an Indian newspaper vendor reading a newspaper with a full back page advertisement from WhatsApp intended to counter fake information, in New Delhi on July 10, 2018. (AFP)
Updated 20 July 2018
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WhatsApp to limit message forwarding

  • Indians forward more messages, photos and videos than any other country in the world

NEW DELHI: WhatsApp announced curbs on its service in India on Friday in an effort to stop a spate of horrific lynchings and to assuage government threats of legal action in its biggest market.
More than 20 people have been killed by mobs in the past two months across the country after being accused of child kidnapping and other crimes in viral messages circulated on WhatsApp.
The Facebook-owned firm said on Friday that in India it will test limiting the ability of users to forward messages, and will also experiment with a lower limit of five chats at once.
It addition, it said it will “remove the quick forward button next to media messages,” a statement said.
“We believe that these changes — which we’ll continue to evaluate — will help keep WhatsApp the way it was designed to be: a private messaging app,” it added.
Under pressure from Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government, the firm had already announced new features to help users identify messages that have been forwarded.
WhatsApp had also bought full-page adverts in Indian newspapers with tips on how to spot misinformation.
But in a strongly worded statement released late Thursday, India’s information technology ministry said the action taken was not enough.
“Rampant circulation of irresponsible messages in large volumes on their platform have not been addressed adequately by WhatsApp,” the ministry said.
“When rumors and fake news get propagated by mischief-mongers, the medium used for such propagation cannot evade responsibility and accountability,” it said.
“If (WhatsApp) remain mute spectators they are liable to be treated as abettors and thereafter face consequent legal action.”
 


Mexican radio journalist murdered, first reporter death of 2019

Updated 21 January 2019
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Mexican radio journalist murdered, first reporter death of 2019

  • Rafael Murua, a community radio station director, had received death threats for his work
  • Murua, 34, was under the Mexican government’s protection program for journalists and rights activists

MEXICO CITY: A Mexican journalist was found murdered in the northern state of Baja California Sur, the governor said Monday, the first reporter killed this year in what has become one of the world’s most dangerous countries for the press.
Rafael Murua, a community radio station director who had received death threats for his work, went missing Sunday night, according to local media reports. Governor Carlos Mendoza confirmed the journalist had been found murdered, condemning the killing.
“This cowardly crime will not go unpunished,” the governor wrote on Twitter.
“My solidarity to the family and all journalists working in Baja California Sur.”
Murua, 34, was under the Mexican government’s protection program for journalists and rights activists, said Balbina Flores, country director for the watchdog group Reporters Without Borders.
The group reported at least nine journalists’ murders in Mexico last year, making it the third-most-dangerous country to be a reporter after war-torn Afghanistan and Syria.
Racked by violent crime linked to its powerful drug cartels and fueled by political corruption, Mexico has registered more than 100 journalists’ murders since 2000.
The vast majority of the cases have gone unpunished — as do more than 90 percent of violent crimes in Mexico.