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WhatsApp lynchings

Researchers find flaw in WhatsApp

PARIS: Researchers at a cybersecurity firm said Wednesday they had found a flaw in WhatsApp that could allow hackers to modify and send fake messages in the popular social messaging app. CheckPoint said the vulnerability gives a hacker the possibility "to intercept and manipulate messages sent by those in a group or private conversation" as well as "create and spread misinformation". The report of the flaw comes as the Facebook-owned is coming under increasing scrutiny as a means of spreading misinformation due to its…

India asks telcos to find ways to block Facebook, WhatsApp

NEW DELHI: India has asked its telecom operators to find ways of blocking applications such as Facebook and messaging app WhatsApp in the case of misuse, according to a document seen by Reuters. India has in recent months intensified efforts to crack down on mass message forwards after it found that people were using social media and messaging apps to spread rumours and stoke public anger. WhatsApp in particular has faced the wrath of Indian regulators after false messages circulated on the messaging platform led to a…

Death by ‘fake news’

The smartphone footage shows the two blood-soaked men pleading for their lives. Moments later they were dead, two more victims of lynchings sparked by rumours spread on Facebook and WhatsApp in India. The two men were young and well-educated. Gregarious, dreadlocked musician Nilotpal Das, 29, and his businessman friend Abhijeet Nath, 30, were both from Guwahati, capital of the northeastern state of Assam. On the fateful day last month when they were beaten to death by a crazed village mob wielding bamboo sticks,…

WhatsApp asked to curb spread of false messages

MUMBAI: India has asked Facebook-owned WhatsApp messenger to take steps to prevent the circulation of false texts and provocative content that have led to a series of lynchings and mob beatings across the country in the past few months. With more than 200 million users in India, WhatsApp’s biggest market in the world, false news and videos circulating on the messaging app have become a new headache for social media giant Facebook, already grappling with a privacy scandal. So far this year, false messages about child…