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To control fake news menace, WhatsApp appoints grievance officer in India

Think Change India
28th Sep 2018
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Under pressure from the Indian government over fake news, WhatsApp appoints Komal Lahiri as India's grievance officer; complaints can be sent via email and post or on the app.

As of February 2018, WhatsApp had 200 million users in India. But the cross-platform messaging and Voice over IP (VoIP) service has been under scrutiny since a spate of violent mob attacks, fuelled by misinformation circulated via WhatsApp, led to deaths across the country.

But WhatsApp isn't taking things lightly. The Facebook-owned service released a series of ads in newspapers, rolled out a forward message label, and limited the ability to forward texts. In further developments to curb the spread of fake news and its consequences, WhatsApp has now hired a dedicated grievance officer for India. Komal Lahiri, Senior Director of Global Customer Operations and Localisation at WhatsApp Inc since March 2018, will take the post.

Komal Lahiri. Source Facebook, and Whatsapp

 

The decision came after Whatsapp CEO Chris Daniels met Information and Technology Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad last month. The meeting was to discuss various possibilities to curb fake news on the platform. During the meeting, the Indian government asked Whatsapp to find a way to track the origin of fake messages. The government also asked for appointment of a grievance officer, according to the Financial Express.

If a user comes across any messages that could lead to a disruption in communal harmony, s/he can mail complaints to the WhatsApp's grievance officer. The user can complain through a mail or even use the regular post .

WhatsApp has explained the procedure to contact their grievance officer,

“To contact the grievance officer, please send an email with your complaint or concern, and sign with an electronic signature. If you’re contacting us about a specific account, please include your phone number in full international format, including the country code.”

To register complaints via email, you can send a mail to grievance_officer_wa@support.whatsapp.com.The Grievance Officer's postal address is Komal Lahiri, WhatsApp Inc., Attention: Grievance Officer, 1601 Willow Road, Menlo Park, California 94025, United States of America.

Complaints can also be registered via the app. Head to Settings > Help > Contact Us, and you will see a new page that lets you type in your complaint. You can also add screenshots to the complaint.

 

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