WhatsApp abuse: Here’s government plan to crackdown on hate messages

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Updated: February 23, 2019 4:13:30 PM

The company though has put-in a spam detection technology that works round-the-clock to spot accounts engaging in abnormal behaviour.

Beware hate mongers! DoT opens new window to check WhatsApp abuseBeware hate mongers! DoT opens new window to check WhatsApp abuse

While the government has so far not been able to make much headway with WhatsApp regarding checking hate messages, fake news, etc, by tracing their origin, it has moved in to take action against offenders by asking the department of telecommunications (DoT) to block mobile numbers through which hate messages emanate.

The process adopted is simple: If anybody receives objectionable, obscene messages on their WhatsApp, all they have to do is to take its screen shot and mail it at ccaddn-dot@nic.in along with the mobile number from which it came. The DoT will then send number to the telecom service provider asking it to block it. This can be done as the telcos are licensed operators and their licence conditions mandates that their network will not carry objectionable, obscene, unauthorised content.

There are some WhatsApp numbers which are not connected to mobile network but only to a Wi-Fi network.

Even such numbers can be blocked since Wi-Fi connections are provided by either telcos or internet service providers and both are licensed service providers.

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The DoT issued the circular on February 19 but telcos FE spoke to said that they are yet to receive any directions in this regard.

“If anyone is receiving abusive/offensive/death threats/vulgar whatsapp messages, please send screen shots of the message along with the mobile numbers at ccaddn-dot@nic.in. We will take it up with the telecom operators and police heads for necessary action,” DoT controller communications Ashish Joshi tweeted on Friday.

WhatsApp has been at loggerheads with the Indian government regarding traceability of offensive messages. The company though has put-in a spam detection technology that works round-the-clock to spot accounts engaging in abnormal behaviour. In fact, over the last three months, WhatsApp has banned over 2 million accounts per month globally for bulk and automated behaviour.

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