There are a variety of ways of sharing news and information, although it seems that social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter are some of the more popular ways. However, users have also been using messaging platforms like WhatsApp to share links with friends and family. In fact in some countries, WhatsApp is considered to be a top source of news.
With that taken into consideration, it seems that WhatsApp wants to prevent its platform from being used to spread fake news.
Speaking to reporters in India, WhatsApp software engineer Alan Kao was quoted as saying, “We definitely do not want to see fake news on our platform and it’s a complex problem in determining what is fake and what isn’t.”
One of the reasons Kao claims the situation is complex is due to encryption, “Because of the encryption, we can’t read the contents of the messages.” According to Kao, the next best thing would be to educate its users on sharing information responsibly, and with 1 billion daily active users, that’s a lot of potential of fake news to be shared.
However, over in India, it seems that the country’s courts have ruled that WhatsApp group admins are responsible for the messages being sent in group chats, and that they could be held accountable for the spread of fake news. Granted this isn’t a position shared by other governments, but we suppose it’s one way to force users to be more careful with the things they share.