NEW DELHI, Aug 21 - The government today asked WhatsApp to set up a local corporate entity and find a technology solution to trace the origin of fake messages circulated through its platform, which is facing flak for mass circulation of certain fake messages that have led to horrific crimes.
After his meeting with WhatsApp CEO Chris Daniels here, IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said the messaging app has contributed significantly to India�s digital story but it needs to find solutions to deal with �sinister developments� like mob-lynching and revenge porn.
In a stern warning, the government has also made it clear that WhatsApp could face abetment charges in case action is not taken to tackle circulation of fake messages.
Daniels declined to comment about his meeting with the minister.
Prasad said he has asked WhatsApp to set up a corporate entity in India, appoint a grievance officer and find a technical solution to trace the origin of fake messages on its platform.
�I flagged in particular, which I had said earlier also, it does not take rocket science to locate a message being circulated in hundreds and thousands... You must have a mechanism to find a solution,� the minister told reporters.
While noting that WhatsApp could face abetment charges if no action is taken, Prasad said the company has assured that it is working towards complying with these points.
�I had a very productive meeting with Chris Daniels, the CEO of WhatsApp... There are also very sinister developments, which are provoking crimes like mob lynching, revenge porn. You (WhatsApp) must find solutions to these challenges which are downright criminal and violation of Indian laws,� Prasad said.
Elaborating on the meeting, Prasad expressed happiness over Daniels saying that WhatsApp was working with law enforcement agencies and that it would organise a campaign to educate people in India on spread of misinformation through social media.
About WhatsApp�s impending roll out of payments services, Prasad said the company has assured the government that it would comply with the stipulated rules.
Daniels is also likely to meet various government officials and business executives during his visit this week as the company attempts to address concerns around fake news being circulated on its messaging platform which have led to horrific crimes like mob-lynching. � PTI