Deadly mob violence breaks out over fake news of child abductions in India

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Fake news proved to have deadly consequences in India (AP Photo/Patrick Sison, File)

A rash of deadly lynchings in India has a popular messaging app taking aim at fake news.

WhatsApp says it is testing a new feature that will show users when a message has been forwarded rather than created by its sender.

The Facebook-owned service hopes this will help keep "irresponsible and explosive messages" from provoking people's emotions after nearly a dozen people falsely accused of child abductions were killed in separate incidents over the past six weeks.

The Indian government warned the maker of one of the country's most popular apps that the killings are "of deep concern."

WhatsApp said it is working with academics in India to "learn more about the spread of misinformation," and is partnering with an Indian fact-checking organization, Boom Live, to help combat rumors on its platform.

In a statement, Whatsapp said in part that it is "horrified by these terrible acts of violence."

"We believe that false news, misinformation and the spread of hoaxes are issues best tackled collectively: by government, civil society and technology companies working together," WhatsApp said.
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child abductionappsmobile appu.s. & worldindiamurderhomicide