Facebook-owned messaging application WhatsApp on Wednesday enforced its restrictions on forwarded messages in India, IANS reported. A spokesperson for the company told The New York Times that the Check Point discovery was not related to its efforts to stop misinformation.
"In order to make Respondent No.6 (WhatsApp) accountable, it must be directed to comply with Indian Law and appoint Grievance Officer, who shall be the person to address grievance of consumers, as well as coordinate with investigating agencies", the petition said. Other measures aimed at curbing the spread of misinformation will be rolled out in phases. The app has also restricted the number of chats a message can be forwarded to, to five.
WhatsApp has 1.5 billion users on its platform, making it the world's most widely used messaging app.More news: You Can Now Play Augmented Reality Games in Facebook Messenger
A newly-discovered WhatsApp bug allows hackers to infiltrate and message your group chats and private conversations. The platform had come in for criticism, with incidents of lynchings rising owing to fake news and forwards.
Following calls from the government to stem the platform's misuse, WhatsApp has moved to deter mass message forwards and launched an advertising campaign to educate consumers. This way, when the targeted individual responds to a private message, the reply is visible to everyone in a group conversation.
Separately, India's federal police have begun probing Cambridge Analytica's misuse of Facebook user data, which New Delhi suspects included information on Indian users.More news: Media get no access to coaches, players at Ohio State football practice
Forwarded Message Label: This feature is already live.
"We are deeply committed to your safety and privacy which is why WhatsApp is end-to-end encrypted, and we'll continue to improve our app with features like this one", the company had said in a statement earlier. However, there is a work around to forwarded messages, where people can also copy the message or save the media file to their device, and then share it again to multiple chats.
A source at India's department of telecommunication said the letter was aimed at finding ways to block such apps during "emergency situations".More news: Indonesia Earthquake Death Toll Rises To 164, At Least 1400 Injured