WhatsApp Might Pull Out Of India If Proposed Govt Regulations Implemented: WhatsApp Official
India happens to be WhatsApp’s biggest market in the world, with 200 million active users monthly. The platform has more than 1.5 billion users globally.
Carl Woog, WhatsApp’s Head of Communications said that the proposed regulation that concerns them the most happens to be the emphasis on traceability of messages.
The News Minute reported that WhatsApp’s feature of end-to-end encryption, which means that only the sender and the recipient can view the messages, if not there, will result in WhatsApp being a new product altogether.
Several measures have been taken by WhatsApp
“The proposed changes are going overboard and are not consistent with strong privacy protections that people around the world are seeking,” said Woog.
Basically, law enforcement authorities find it difficult to identify culprits in a misinformation campaign, because of the end-to-end encryption feature. But because of the regulations of the proposed IT Ministry, social media platforms are bound to follow a due diligence process for prevention of spreading misinformation.
Several new measures were taken by WhatsApp, like limiting the number of messages that can be forwarded by a user, and for the first time appointing the organisation’s country head, after there were several lynchings in the country because of rumours that were spread on WhatsApp.
“We ban nearly two million suspicious accounts every month. While roughly 20 per cent of these accounts are banned at the time of registration, over 70 per cent of the spam accounts get banned without a recent user report,” Woog said.
WhatsApp said that during or ahead of elections, where there might be attempts by certain groups to send messages at scale, these efforts are required.
A team of human workers review the accounts which are flagged by users who take advantage of an in-app “report” feature. When an account is reported, the last few messages of the chat can be viewed by the WhatsApp team.
Ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, WhatsApp is hiring more reviewers well-versed in regional languages in India.
WhatsApp has said that a Grievance Officer has been identified whom a user can contact directly if he or she has a concern about their WhatsApp experience and is not able to report it in any other way.
Reportedly, Indian politicians, ahead of the Lok Sabha polls have been abusing and misusing the Facebook-owned app and Whatsapp has warned them to refrain from doing so. Moreover, it has said that the company will ban those accounts which are found guilty of missing the platform.
WhatsApp, over the last few years, has faced a monumental challenge in India, especially with regard to tackling fake news and spread of misinformation. Although Whatsapp did not name the errant parties that are misusing WhatsApp, the platform has become a major campaigning tool for the BJP as well as the opposition. The problem, however, is not limited to India, the app was reportedly used to spread falsehoods ahead of the Brazilian elections in October. In India, WhatsApp came under major fire after news of people misusing the platform that gave rise to the phenomena of mob lynchings.