Why has Whatsapp not appointed grievance officer yet, asks SC
New Delhi, Aug 27: The Supreme Court on Monday sought to know as to why the global messaging giant Whatsapp has not been appointed a grievance officer in India. The apex court, has in this regard, issued a notice to WhatsApp, IT and Finance ministry and sought a detailed reply from them within four weeks.
This comes almost a week after IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad met WhatsApp Head Chris Daniels and expressed concerns over "sinister developments" like mob lynching due to rumours spread on the messaging app.
The government had last week put forth the following demands to Whatsapp:
- WhatsApp must have a grievance officer in India.
- WhatsApp must have a proper compliance of Indian laws.
- WhatsApp must have a proper corporate entity located in India.
Last month, WhatsApp top executives including COO Matthew Idema had met IT Secretary and other Indian government officials to outline various steps being taken by the company to tackle fake news in India.
Over the past few months, fake messages circulating on WhatsApp have incited incidents of mob fury across parts of India. The government has sent out two notices to the Facebook-owned company directing it to take urgent measures to curb false information and rumours being spread on the messaging platform.
The IT ministry has, in the past, said that the platform cannot escape its responsibility for such rampant abuse and needed to find originators of provocative messages. It had also warned that in the absence of adequate checks, it will treat the messaging platform as abettor of rumour propagation and legal consequences will follow.