WhatsApp: All Aboard the Rumor Mill Express

As the old adage goes: “A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is putting its shoes on”—and today, rumors take the express train via WhatsApp.

India endured violence fueled by rumors long before the age of digital tech. But recently, the ubiquitous WhatsApp has come under fire as an enabler of communal violence, such as lynchings.
The app has responded to government pressure to modify its practices. But to what extent is WhatsApp to blame? Will these measures really work? And how does this government/tech alliance affect fundamental rights? Chinmayi Arun investigates.

Economic & Political Weekly

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