iWorld

WhatsApp gets grievance officer under pressure from India

Users in India can seek help through the app, send an email or write to US-based Komal Lahiri

https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/smartcrop_800x800/public/images/tv-images/2018/09/24/WhatsApp_800.jpg?itok=ZGHWPxFG

NEW DELHI: Under pressure to clamp down on sinister messages, 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, reports the Press Trust of India.

According to Lahiri's LinkedIn profile, she is senior director, global customer operations and localisation at WhatsApp. When contacted, a WhatsApp spokesperson declined to comment on the matter but pointed to the public FAQ on the company's website that contains these details.

According to sources, the appointment of the grievance officer was made at the end of August. They added that the officer for India being based in the US is in tune with similar practices by other American tech giants. Users can reach out to the company's support team directly from the app under 'settings' 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.

The latest appointment is also significant as the Supreme Court, last month, had agreed to examine a petition alleging that WhatsApp does not comply with Indian laws, including the provision for appointing a grievance officer. The apex court had sought a reply on the matter within four weeks.

With general elections slated for next year in India, the government is taking a tough stance on the use of social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and WhatsApp for the spread of misinformation.

The government had warned WhatsApp that it will treat the messaging platform as an abettor of rumour propagation and legal consequences will follow if adequate checks are not put in place.

In a meeting held with WhatsApp head Chris Daniels last month, IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad had asserted that the company will have to find a solution to track origin of messages on its platform, set up a local corporate entity that is subject to Indian laws within a defined time-frame as well as appoint a grievance officer.

WhatsApp, which has been slapped with two notices and a third one under consideration, has said it is in the process of establishing a local corporate entity. It has, however, not accepted the government's demand for traceability of messages saying creating such a software will go against the idea of user privacy.

Latest Reads

https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2020/01/21/zee5.jpg?itok=BnBlyx1G
ZEE5 records peak DAU base of 11.4 mn in December 2019

MUMBAI: ZEEL's (Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd) digital venture ZEE5 has recorded a peak DAU (Daily Active Users) base of 11.4 million in December 2019. Along with more users flocking towards the platform, the engagement has also gone up to 140 mintues watch time every month during the third...

iWorld Over The Top Services
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2020/01/21/voot.jpg?itok=vx-6Fd7d
Voot to soon launch premium SVOD Voot Select

MUMBAI: Tiering is coming to the OTT ecosystem in India. AVOD, SVOD, premium SVOD is the direction it seems to be taking. Following in the footsteps of Hotstar which launched its VIP service earlier this year, Viacom18, India’s fastest growing entertainment network  has announced its second...

iWorld Over The Top Services
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2020/01/21/Apple-TV-Plus.jpg?itok=hqoFyeo1
Apple TV Plus unveils release dates for originals

Upping the ante in streaming and content services, Apple TV plus announced the premiere dates of its Originals including Steven Spielberg’s Amazing Stories, which is a sci-fi anthology that is scheduled to be released on 6 March 2020, Variety said in its report.

iWorld Over The Top Services
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2020/01/21/Vijay-Subramaniam.jpg?itok=25d11iuH
Audience open to stories that push imagination: Amazon Prime Video's Vijay Subramaniam

The steaming boom in India has unleashed the creativity of storytellers across the country. While several barriers to freedom of storytelling have disappeared with the entry of the over-the-top (OTT) platforms, a considerable expansion in content themes is noticeable too.

iWorld Over The Top Services
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2020/01/20/prime.jpg?itok=7O3hUWGk
Amazon Prime Video unveils upcoming Originals line-up for 2020

MUMBAI: Amazon Prime Video unveils upcoming content slate with 14 Indian Original titles, including a mix of new series and returning seasons of popular Indian Amazon Originals. The preview video offers viewers a glimpse into 13 other upcoming titles, including new scripted series such as The Last...

iWorld Over The Top Services
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2020/01/20/sonyliv.jpg?itok=PNq7ckiR
SonyLIV to live stream 16 simultaneous feeds of Australian Open 2020

MUMBAI: Foraying into the New Year, SonyLIV, India’s first premium video-on-demand platform, brings a visual treat for all its tennis aficionados with the decade’s first major sporting event – Australian Open 2020. Upping its ante in sports streaming, the platform, this year, will exclusively...

iWorld Over The Top Services
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2020/01/20/net.jpg?itok=FB1gOX0i
Netflix and its binge spending: $17.3 bn on content in 2020

Netflix is stubborn with its content spending despite being criticised often for being “irrational”. The streaming firm is sticking to its 'grow now - pay later' strategy. According to a recent estimate, the streamer will invest around $17.3 billion on content in 2020.

iWorld Over The Top Services
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2020/01/20/broadband.jpg?itok=r7HcoMgc
Middling broadband subscriber growth in November 2019

Overall broadband internet subscribers in India grew by 1.719 crore or 2.67 percent  in the month ended 30November 2019 (Nov-19) from the numbers reported by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India for the month ended 30 October 2019 (Oct-19).

iWorld Broadband
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2020/01/21/mxplayer.jpg?itok=Z0kwwe6k
Feel the action and the thrill on #WeekendBingeonMX

MUMBAI: 1,50,000 hrs of content, multiple formats and spread across 10 regional languages – MX Player boasts one of the biggest online streaming libraries of the country. With an answer to every entertainment need of the discerning viewer, the platform is all set to regale you with 2 intense web...

iWorld Over The Top Services

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories