WhatsApp Appoints US-Based Grievance Officer For Indian Users

Published on 25 Sep 2018 by Shivi

WhatsApp has appointed a grievance officer for India. The chat company has updated its website to announce the appointment of the grievance officer for India. The update tells how users can contact Komal Lahiri, the grievance officer for India, via an app, email or post. The company made no official announcement. The news was shared by the company's website in the form of a page update.

According to the WhatsApp page, the grievance officer can be contacted in cases of complaints or concerns regarding the chat app's terms of service or queries about the user account.

To contact the Grievance Officer, you can send an email with your complaint or concern and sign with an electronic signature. The officer can also be contacted via post at this address- 1601 Willow Road, Menlo Park, California 94025, United States of America as the postal address of Komal Lahiri.

Though WhatsApp now has an official grievance officer for India, the move does not exactly match the measures told by the IT minister Ravi Shankar Prasad to WhatsApp CEO Chris Daniels when he visited India this year in August. Out of the three measures suggested by Prasad, one was to have a grievance officer in India. But WhatsApp's new grievance officer is based in the US. According to the WhatsApp page, Lahiri will sit in the Menlo Park office of the company in the US.

The reason why the government wants a grievance officer to based in India is that the officer needs to coordinate with the government and various investigating agencies on a day-to-day basis to deal with cases wherein its platform has been used for spreading misinformation or for other malicious purposes. In the recent time, WhatsApp has been misused for spreading fake news, which in turn has lead to the death of nearly 30 people in cases of lynchings spreading across the country since May last year.

The rest two measures suggested by Prasad to Daniels were to have a corporate entity in India and WhatsApp's compliance with the Indian law.
The chat company after being repeatedly nudged by the government as well as the Supreme Court of India over steps to curb the spread of fake news in the country launched new features. The company also started an awareness campaign to help users identify fake news and prevent the spread of it.


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