DoT starts crackdown on offensive WhatsApp content, launches feature for users to report

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The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has opened a channel where users can report vulgar and offensive messages they received on WhatsApp, a senior government official said Friday.

“If anyone is receiving abusive/offensive/death threats/ vulgar WhatsApp messages, please send screenshots of the message along with the mobile numbers at [email protected],” telecom department’s controller of communications Ashish Joshi said in a tweet. “We will take it up with the telecom operators and police heads for necessary action,” he added.

The development comes in the wake of some journalists receiving death threats on their WhatsApp. The DoT received complaints from people about the issue and decided to send a letter to telecom operators asking them to take immediate actions against their subscribers who are sending such messages, given that the license of the operators prohibits their users from sending objectionable, obscene or unauthorized content in any form on the network.

The center, too, had suggested the network operators open up a dedicated call center or helpline to receive complaints against such messages since the bear the responsibility of the kind of content that is being shared through their carriage.

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