Facebook-owned messaging service WhatsApp has appointed a grievance officer for India’s 200 million users to flag concerns and complaints, including those around fake news. WhatsApp has appointed Menlo Park, California-based Komal Lahiri as the Grievance Officer for the country.
The move from WhatsApp is result of Supreme Court of India reprimanding Whatsapp for not appointing a Grievance Officer and complying with other laws of India. Earlier in the year, a nationwide string of lynchings happened which believed to be incited by false information shared on WhatsApp. While companies like Facebook and Google have appointed Grievance Officers for users in India, WhatsApp had not.
Komal Lahiri is Senior Director of Global Customer Operations and Localisation at WhatsApp Inc since March 2018.
The Grievance Officer, Lahiri, can be contacted via email and general post by over 200 million users in the country.
“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,” said the FAQ under the security and privacy settings.
If you want to contact WhatsApp, go to Settings, then Help and Contact Us section.
“You can contact the Grievance Officer with complaints or concerns, including the following: WhatsApp’s Terms of Service and Questions about your account,” read the information.
“If you’re a law enforcement official, please read our information for law enforcement authorities and how you can contact us,” it added.
Lahiri’s appointment comes after WhatsApp CEO Chris Daniels held a meeting with IT minister Ravi Shankar Prasad last month in which he was asked by the Indian government to find a way out to track the origin of fake messages on its platform. The government also asked the company to appoint a grievance officer to deal with these cases and set up a corporate entity in the country.
An updated FAQ on WhatsApp’s site states that people can contact the grievance officer directly via email. But it’s unclear as to how WhatsApp will process complaints, and what measures it will take to address reports of fake news and hoax forwards. We’ve written to ask, and will update this post when we hear back.
Source – Gadgets.NDTV.com