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Friday, 29 June 2018

Violence and deaths in India due to WhatsApp rumors

Por olimurs.92

Authorities have asked the population to remain calm and ignore the false rumors that circulate on WhatsApp about child traffickers and things like that. It is a chain of gossips that ensures the arrival of a gang that traffics minors and organs in that country. So far the lynchings have claimed the lives of three people and left several injured this year.

The messages say that around 300 traffickers arrived in the city of Gujarat to kidnap children and then sell them. Since the text came to light there have been five attacks in several cities of that state in northern India.

On the other hand, in the Indian district of Balaghat last week a group of between 50 and 60 villagers attacked two men last week, after the circulation of a text through WhatsApp, assuring that the men were going to kill people and sell parts of their bodies. Similarly, in Rajkot and Surat, other cities in the state, reported six people were injured and two assaults, respectively.

Similarly, in the city of Ahemdabad, a hundred people attacked with punches and kicks a 45-year-old beggar, Shantadevi Nath, and three other women whom they accused of being members of the "bands" of traffickers described in the messages. The woman died shortly after the injuries.

According to local police statements, the message, which was circulated in Balaghat, obviously false, was written in Hindi and said that around 500 people disguised as beggars roamed the area to kill people and 'harvest' their organs. Finally, he urged users of the instant messaging network to forward it to friends and family.

In the face of the exacerbated situation, police officers joined several local WhatsApp groups and found three men who were sending these messages, who were immediately arrested.

This year, the false messages about kidnappers of children in WhatsApp, owned by Facebook, have been the way to cause massive beatings to more than a dozen people in India, of which at least three died. Taking into account that India, with more than 200 million users, being the largest WhatsApp market in the world, more than one billion phone subscribers with access to mobile data at low cost; the false news and the videos that circulate in the applications like this, in a very short time they become viral, creating a collective hysteria.

WhatsApp said to be aware of the incidents in India and published a statement expressing that sadly, some people also use WhatsApp to disseminate harmful misinformation. Still, this situation could become a new headache for social networking giant Facebook, which this year has had to deal with a privacy scandal.