Whatsapp University background
Until recently, "WhatsApp University" was a pejorative term which referred to the fake news and misinformation spread in India through WhatsApp forwards. (Wikipedia)It was based on the Kerala High Court dismissing a PIL on May 2022,, alleging forceful vaccination of children in schools based on social media rumours. The court had then remarked, “Don't go by this WhatsApp University. You are here with a speculative cause of action. We are not going to create confusion in the minds of people.”. However, the court failed to appreciate that several Universities of India were legitimately delivering their course content over WHATSAPP and conducting group video sessions using Whatsapp during the COVID-19 pandemic. Accordingly this non-commercial educational / news website exists to clarify the legal status of Indian University courses offered during the pandemic and therafter pursuant to the NATIONAL EDUCATION POLICY 2020 usiing inter-alia Whatsapp as the LMS delivery platform. The owners of this website are very well known for the term "University" in India, which goodwill has been tarnished by its malafide association with the term "Whatsapp".
Fake news’ virality is six times more than genuine news’. Fake news fetches more hits to websites, and thus more revenue. Starting from misinformation related to home remedies for the treatment of Covid19 to post-demonetization news about ‘spying technology’ added to the banknotes of INR 2000 denomination and misinformation leading to a mob killing, fake news circulation is the major subject of WhatsApp University. Everyone thinks they are experts just by reading a forward they received on WhatsApp. Older people are more susceptible to believing WhatsApp-based news. They almost believe it blindly and act as the main propagators. They are, thus, used as targets to spread more fake news. Fake news makes real money as users are attracted to them. There are instances of violence-inciting fake news, election propaganda, and hate speeches being circulated on WhatsApp. The scale of the problem of fake news is overwhelming and requires a multi-stakeholder approach to contain it.(Shifting the Gear on Emerging Technologies from Exploration to Population Scale Solutions, Author - Dr Gaurav Gupta, Scientist ‘E’, Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology)
Whatsapp continuous obstruction to stop fake news
- Any operations being run in India are subject to the law of the land. WhatsApp’s refusal to comply with the guidelines is a clear act of defiance of a measure whose intent can certainly not be doubted.
- On the other hand, WhatsApp makes every effort to refuse the enactment of the Intermediary Guidelines which are necessary to uphold law and order and curb the menace of fake news.
- WhatsApp defends its refusal to enact the Intermediary Guidelines by carving out an exception that messages on the platform are end to end encrypted.
- It is pertinent to note that the rule to trace the first originator of information is mandatory for each and every significant social media intermediary, irrespective of their method of operation.
- The Government of India is committed to ensuring Right of Privacy to all its citizens as well as have the means and the information necessary to ensure public order and maintain national security. It is WhatsApp’s responsibility to find a technical solution, whether through encryption or otherwise, that both happen.”
- As a significant social media intermediary, WhatsApp seeks a safe harbour protection as per the provisions of the Information Technology Act. However,in a befuddling act, they seek to avoid responsibility and refuse to enact the very steps which permit them a safe harbour provision.
- Whatsapp told to find more effective solutions
- Fake news on WhatsApp claims Government giving Rs 1000 under Corona Sahayata Yojana
- When WhatsApp is Required to Disclose the Origin of a Particular Message
- Fake news in Whatsapp. - Coronavirus case detection in Nagaland
- WhatsApp Partners With NGO To Hold Workshops On Fake News
- because of Fake News/ rumours being circulated through Whatsapp and other Social Media sites.
- Whatsapp CEO Chris Daniels meets IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad
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