A WhatsApp text circulating in some districts of India's central Madhya Pradesh state helped to inflame a mob of 50-60 villagers into savagely beating up to two innocent men last week on suspension that they were going to murder people and sell their body parts.

The essence of the message, written in Hindi, was that 500 people disguised as beggars were roaming the area so that they could kill people to harvest their organs.

The message also urged recipients to forward it to friends and family. Police said  the message was fake.

Police officers who joined several local WhatsApp groups, found three men circulating the message and they were arrested , said Jayadevan A, the police chief for Balaghat district, where the incident occurred.

This happened just weeks after WhatsApp text warning of 400 child traffickers arriving in the southern technology hub of  Bengaluru led a frenzied mob to lynch  26 year old man, a migrant construction worker from another Indian state, on suspicion that he was a kidnapper.

He was attacked while he was just walking on the road.

So far this year, false message about child abductors on Facebook Inc-owned WhatsApp have helped trigger mass beatings of more than a dozen people in India   -at least three of whom have died.

In addition, fake messages about child molesters and snatchers on  Facebook, as well as some texts on WhatApp , also led to the lynching of two men in eastern India earlier this month.

WhatsApp's Biggest Market

With more than 200 million users in India,  WhatsApp's biggest market in the world, false news, and videos circulating on the messaging app have become a new headache for social media giant Facebook, already grappling with a privacy scandal.


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