Govt, Telecom News, ET Telecom

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The government today said it expects social media platforms with large user base – the likes of WhatsApp and others – to behave in a responsible manner and take proactive steps to ensure that consumers have complete confidence in them.

The Telecom department has already sought views of the industry on technical measures that can be adopted for blocking mobile apps like instagram, Facebook, WhatsApp and Telegram in situations where national security and public order are under threat.

WhatsApp itself has been under fire over rampant abuse of its platform for circulation of fake news which has incited mob fury leading to lynching incidents.

“We are always in touch and anytime we have a concern we are flagging it, to them. We expect all platforms to behave in a responsible manner especially those platforms with large user base,” IT Secretary Ajay P Sawhney told reporters on sidelines of a Trai conference.

He said doing so was critical as users need to have confidence in the platform they are on.

“We believe all major platforms have large presence here. And they will take whatever steps necessary to ensure that users have complete confidence in their platform,” he said.

WhatsApp has informed the government of its efforts to build a local team on ground, including India head, but has not met a key demand of IT Ministry, that of identifying the message originators, according to sources.

Sawhney said that the IT Ministry is “looking into” WhatsApp’s response.

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