WhatsApp to clamp down on ‘sinister’ messages in India

India is WhatsApp’s biggest market with more than 200 million users. (Reuters)
Updated 21 August 2018
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WhatsApp to clamp down on ‘sinister’ messages in India

NEW DELHI: Facebook-owned WhatsApp assured the Indian government on Tuesday that it would develop tools to combat the problem of fake messages, the country’s information technology minister said.
India has stepped up efforts to crack down on mass message forward after it found that people were using platforms such as WhatsApp to stoke public anger. False messages circulated on WhatsApp have led to a series of mob beatings across the country this year.
WhatsApp chief executive officer Chris Daniels met India’s IT minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Tuesday, assuring the government of a solution.
Prasad told reporters he had asked WhatsApp to develop a detailed mechanism to trace the origin of any such “sinister” messages.
“It does not need rocket science to locate a message,” Prasad said after his meeting, adding that WhatsApp had said it was working with law enforcement agencies to develop its systems.
A Facebook spokeswoman in India did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
India is WhatsApp’s biggest market with more than 200 million users and one where it says people forward more messages, photographs and videos than any other country.
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.
Following calls from the government to stem the platform’s misuse, WhatsApp has moved to deter mass message forward and launched an advertising campaign to educate consumers.
In July, WhatsApp said message forward 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.


Sirius XM buys streaming giant Pandora for $3.5 billion in shares

Updated 24 September 2018
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Sirius XM buys streaming giant Pandora for $3.5 billion in shares

  • Sirius XM charges users monthly subscription fees while Pandora offers free music streaming
  • The transaction is being carried out entirely through an exchange of shares

WASHINGTON: Sirius XM, which dominates satellite radio in the United States, announced Monday it is buying music streaming giant Pandora for $3.5 billion.
The transaction is being carried out entirely through an exchange of shares, the company said in a statement.
Sirius XM, a leader in subscription radio in the United States serving mainly motorists with dozens of music and news programs, sees the acquisition as an opportunity “to significantly expand its presence beyond vehicles into the home and other mobile areas,” it said.
Sirius XM charges users monthly subscription fees while Pandora offers free music streaming with advertisements or monthly ad-free paid subscriptions for $4.99 and $9.99.