Due to increasing number of reported killings, lead by rapid and wide spread of misinformation across the country through WhatsApp, the Facebook-owned messaging service said it would fund research to find out why misinformation spreads on the platform like wildfire in India.
WhatAapp, which has over 200 million monthly active users in India, has announced to take remedial measures to prevent proliferation of fake and sensational messages on its platform.
To enhance its understanding of the safety problems of users, WhatsApp said it was commissioning a competitive set of awards to researchers interested in exploring the factors that lead to promotion of fake information on WhatsApp in India. The WhatsApp Research Awards will provide funding for independent research proposals that are designed to be shared with WhatsApp, Facebook, and wider scholarly and policy communities. The programme will make unrestricted awards of up to $50,000 per research proposal.
In a conversation with media, one of the spokesperson said that “WhatsApp cares deeply about the safety of our users. Through this new project, we look forward to working with leading academic experts in India to learn more about how online platforms are used to spread misinformation”