WhatsApp mob killings in India are no less than a challenge for the countries where they are prevalent. They have presented the social media as a horrible tech-innovation of the twenty-first century. While everyone is lamenting the role of social media in spreading the fake news; not so many people are coming up with suggestions or stressing upon the need to revitalize the policing according to changing nature of the crime.
Even WhatsApp took measures to help control the fake news, but it is only a medium of communication. It can’t exercise much control over what people choose to share. So, here comes the need for effective policing by state governments and institutions.
Recently an article by BBC’s India correspondent Soutik Biswas told the tale of an Indian policewoman whose wise policing helped save an Indian village from the menace of fake news.
Indian PoliceWoman on Stopping WhatsApp Mob Killings
According to the story, Ms. Rema Rajishwari, the local chief of Police of District Town of Gadwal in India’s state of Telangana, came to know about the spread of fake videos and photos via WhatsApp. The doctored videos aimed to warn about a gang of kidnappers who intended to snatch children and steal their organs.
Such videos had caused unrest among the villagers who started detaining themselves inside their homes soon after the dusk.
After knowing about the situation of villages and caution of their residents in shutting the door before evening, Rajishwari inquired about the matter. Then she got to know how it was a fake WhatsApp video responsible for creating such restlessness among villagers. Well, the incident was not directly related to WhatsApp mob killings, but it was more likely to pave the way for such a horrific event.
How Rema Rajishwari Fought With Situation
The Indian Policewoman then sent her constables to the villages for a door to door campaign to inform the people about fake videos. She had indeed what Soutik said, ‘revitalized the policing’ to spread awareness among the masses. It wouldn’t be wrong at all to say that Ms. Rajishwari’s attempt was on the spot as it stopped what could have been led to WhatsApp mob killings otherwise.
The Epidemic of WhatsApp Fake News
It is true that social media is a hotbed of fake news. Shockingly, the fake video about child snatchers was not the only thing. The story shared many other incidents where people created such WhatsApp messages either to send them to level the personal vendetta against some opponent or for some other reason. Had the effective policing not worked a blind belief in social media messages could have resulted in heinous crimes against the innocent people. And recently Indian has witnessed some WhatsApp mob killings, where people became the target of fanatics.