WhatsApp’s First TV Campaign Against False News In India

Shakti - Dec 04, 2018

WhatsApp’s First TV Campaign Against False News In India

On Monday, WhatsApp launched its first-ever TV campaign in India to fight false news, which will be depicted in this article.

With an initiative to crackdown false news, to face the challenge of misinformation and hateful rumors in India, the popular texting application WhatsApp has launched its first-ever TV campaign called “Share Joy, Not Rumors”. The mission of each film is to educate people about the importance of communicating real information to the world. WhatsApp plays a crucial role to control chatting groups, which is normally a starting point of rumors and to prevent unidentified senders. Full-page ads have been published in most newspapers as well, motivating people to get rid of spreading rumors through its platform.


The first-ever TV advertisements launched by WhatsApp in India(WhatsApp)

A radio campaign had been earlier released with two stages in order to raise social awareness among WhatsApp users complaining the same issue. This messaging platform kicked off the first phase on August 29 with advertisements covering 46 AIR’s stations (All India Radio) such as Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, and Jharkhand.

To reinforce this initiative, WhatsApp continued the second phase launching on the early of September. Advertisements were on air across 83 radio stations of AIR in states like Telangana, Orissa, West Bengal, Maharashtra, Assam, Tripura, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, and Gujarat.

As stated by the owner of this application, Facebook, this instant messaging firm has taken extensive research among their users within India and based on a real user's experience to create suitable content. The series of three films in this campaign are expected to come out on TV, largest social network Facebook, and channel YouTube in 09 languages, which aims to reach all WhatsApp’s user communities. These languages include English, Malayalam, Hindi, Kannada, Bengali, Telugu, Assamese, Gujarati, and Marathi.

To build up three 60-second films, WhatsApp chose to sign up famous filmmaker and director, Shirsha Guha Thakurta. Each film will depict real situations that harmful information may cause users to be in danger.

This special campaign is timed to start just before the elections in Rajasthan and Telangana and WhatsApp will be in an ongoing effort headed into the national election next year.

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In the past few years, there is a heated debate mentioning that a number of lynching incidents around India have a connection with messaging on WhatsApp, which forces the government to take actions toward this company.

In a meeting with Chris Daniels, CEO of this 200-million Indian users application, Union IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad noted that the government wanted the messaging platform to be aligned with policies and have serious solutions to fight with misusing issues.

WhatsApp has shown a great effort to comply with the expectation from the government through a series of changes, such as informing unknown or not from immediate contact messages to users by labeling forward messages and setting the limitation of forwarding messages. Moreover, this firm continues to strengthen its spam detection capabilities and accounts engaging in abnormally automated activities will be prohibited.

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The firm has not said yes to a demand of government for the ability to trace messages and stated that creating such kind of software will go against its user’s privacy. India government has sent a warning to this messaging platform that it will treat WhatsApp as an abettor of misleading information propagation and legal actions will follow if adequate checks are not taken in appropriate methods.


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