Oh dear, the year 2018 hasn’t been very kind to Mark Zuckerberg.
By that, I mean it’s been a real living nightmare for him.
From the Cambridge Analytica scandal to a pesky bug in the system that caused millions of private Facebook posts to become exposed, the embattled CEO is not enjoying the best times right now.
Hey, we’re only half-way through the year, so maybe there’s still some hope for Zuck to make it to the end in peace?
Ha, yeah right.
The Facebook CEO is facing another crisis on his hands, and this time it’s got to do with WhatsApp, which Facebook acquired in 2014.
According to reports, people are using the app for nefarious purposes – other than sending annoying group messages, obviously.
More from The Telegraph:
In India, WhatsApp has become wildly popular among vast numbers of people who use it to communicate with friends and family.
But the app has also increasingly been used to spread fake news and videos suggesting that thousands of child kidnappers are moving around the country. Rumours have spread rapidly through WhatsApp groups, and the messages have fueled a series of lynchings of innocent people.
More than 20 people have now been killed because of misinformation spread through the service. Victims include Abijeet Nath and Nilotpal Das, who were beaten to death after stopping to ask for directions. Local residents of Assam state, having seen messages on WhatsApp which claimed kidnappers were operating in the area, murdered the two men.
That’s problematic stuff.
Spreading misinformation is nothing new – we covered the issues of spreading fake news via the app before, which you can read here.
However, the scale of violence in India due to this particular issue is on a whole other level of horrific.
Needless to say, Facebook and WhatsApp have a huge problem on their hands.
Question: how can Zuckerberg deal with it, though? Per the report:
It would be an easy problem for Facebook to fix if the misinformation was being circulated through Facebook, not WhatsApp. It could remove the posts and delete any pages that had shared them.
But Facebook can’t do that with WhatsApp, even if they are sent in group messages to hundreds of people.
Eish, and they call themselves a techno giant …
Not to mention the fact that WhatsApp’s founders aren’t on the best terms with Zuck at the moment:
When WhatsApp chief executive Jan Koum [pictured above] made a deal with Zuckerberg in 2014 to sell his company, he made sure that WhatsApp’s independence was guaranteed. Koum even managed to get himself a seat on Facebook’s board …
But Koum abruptly left Facebook in April, and it was reported that an attempt by Facebook to weaken the messaging app’s encryption was one reason for his departure.
In other words, Zuckerberg is on his own.
The best thing he and the other head honchos at Facebook can do right now is fly over to India and meet with the local government, banks and political parties to discuss the issue. There, they’ll be able to educate others about the danger of spreading fake messages and news.
All I can say is good luck, Zuck. You’ll need it for the rest of the year, if not your life.
Read the full piece here.
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