WhatsApp appoints grievance officer for India to curb fake news
Whatsapp has appointed a grievance officer for India and detailed out the process for users to flag concerns and complaints, including those around fake news. Meeting one of the key demands that India had put on Whatsapp to curb fake messages that triggered mob killings, the Facebook-owned company has updated its website to reflect the appointment of a ‘Grievance Officer for India’.
The update mentions that users can seek help through the mobile app, send an email or write in to ‘Komal Lahiri’, who is based out of the US. The Grievance Officer for India is based in the US is in tune with similar practices by other American tech giants. According to the WhatsApp website, users can reach out to the company’s support team directly from the app under ‘Settings’ tab and in case they wish to escalate the complaint, they can contact the Grievance Officer directly. A section within FAQs read: “You (users) can contact the Grievance Officer with complaints or concerns, including the following: WhatsApp’s Terms of Service; and Questions about your account”.
The updated FAQs also detailed out the mechanism for law enforcement officials to reach out to WhatsApp. The government has been pressing WhatsApp to develop tools to combat fake or false messages. One of the demands was to name a grievance officer to deal with issues in India. India is WhatsApp’s biggest market with more than 200 million users. It, in July, limited message forwards to five chats at a time and had also removed the quick forward button placed next to media messages to discourage mass forwarding. It has also introduced a ‘forward’ label to help users identify such messages.