WhatsApp Can Be Dangerous

Nicole Rigillo

At an educational event on fake news in India, a man displays false information that’s being shared on WhatsApp. June 12, 2018. (Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg)

BANGALORE, India — In July, WhatsApp made strides to counter the spread of misinformation after rumors of child kidnapping in its chat groups led to mob lynchings in India, one of the platform’s biggest markets. A full 75 percent of Indians use WhatsApp’s “groups” function, which allows for real-time communication and content sharing among up to 256 people at once. It is through these groups that the baseless accusations of child kidnapping went viral.