Not rendering correctly? View this email as a web page here.

WhatsApp has partnered with Reliance Jio, an Indian telecoms provider, to use street theater to educate people about the dangers of ‘fake news’. Over 30 lynching deaths were attributed to misinformation spread via the service. The street theater initiative is the latest in a series of initiatives taking place in India. The platform has taken out full-page newspaper ads, instigated a multi-language radio campaign, funded research into how to halt the spread of malicious messages and also made changes to the platform to limit the reach of forwarded messages.    

Even if you’re not fighting such a serious issue, here are two thought-starters to discuss with your team:

Pre-emptive protection? It’s now crystal clear: any product or service that scales globally will, by definition, attract the full spectrum of humanity. The good and the bad. Something to factor in if you’re building a user-powered platform, or even just a marketing campaign. Put in place suitable monitoring and protections before they are needed, or you will struggle to catch up later.  

Culture > technology. Back in 2014 when Facebook bought WhatsApp for USD 19 billion dollars, the company was widely celebrated for serving 450 million users with only 50 employees, mainly engineers. The service could scale exponentially, forever! Now look how far and fast the tide has turned. WhatsApp’s street theater initiative acknowledges that not everything can happen at arm’s length. Which existing channels and mediums might you be able to use to engage your users?