(Image source from: Time)
Harried to take rough action on menacing messages, WhatsApp has appointed a grievance officer for India and detailed out the procedure for users to flag complaints and concerns, together with those around fake news.
Meeting one of the significant demands that India had put on WhatsApp to limit fake messages that caused mob killings, the Facebook-owned company has updated its website to reflect the appointment of a 'Grievance Officer for India'.
Komal Lahiri as 'Grievance Officer'
According to update mentions, users can seek help through the mobile app, send an email or write in to 'Komal Lahiri', who is based out of the United States.
According to Lahiri's LinkedIn profile, she is a senior director, global customer operations and localization, WhatsApp.
According to sources, the appointment of the Grievance Officer was made at the end of August.
They added that the Grievance Officer for India being based in the U.S. 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 right from the app under 'Settings' tab and in case they wish to intensify the complaint, they can contact the Grievance Officer directly.
A section within Frequently Asked Questions 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 administration has been demanding WhatsApp to advance tools to fight fake messages.
Tough stance on social media
India is WhatsApp's major market with over 200 million users.
In July it limited message forwards to five chats at a time and had likewise removed the swift forward button positioned next to media messages to discourage mass forwarding. It has also presented a 'forward' label to help users identify such messages.
Related content: WhatsApp Curbs Forwarding Messages to Five Users
With the General Election scheduled for following year in India, the government is taking a tough stance on the use of social media platforms for the spread of misinformation.
The government had cautioned that it will treat the WhatsApp as an assistant of rumor spread and lawful consequences will follow if satisfactory checks are not put in place.
In a meeting held with WhatsApp Head Chris Daniels last month, IT (Information Technology) Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad had stated 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 hit with two notices with the third one under consideration, has said it is in the course of establishing a local corporate entity.
By Sowmya Sangam