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US-Based Komal Lahiri Appointed as Grievance Officer for WhatsApp in India

Written by Nitish Singh
Last updated July 13, 2021

With WhatsApp facing constant criticism for not tackling fake news in India, the Facebook-owned messaging app is finally taking steps to curb the problem of misinformation. With fake news leading to the death of multiple people in the country, US-based Komal Lahiri will be stepping in as the designated grievance officer for WhatsApp.

Lahiri will be responsible for handling complaints from Indian users as well as government officials and law enforcement. WhatsApp has not released an official statement about Lahiri or her role. Lahiri has worked as Senior Director, Global Customer Operations & Localization since March at WhatsApp. She also has prior work experience at Facebook and Instagram in the US.

With over 1.3 billion people in India, 200 million citizens use WhatsApp and contribute a significant percentage of WhatsApp’s 1.5 billion active users per month. Despite the messaging app being one of the best ways to stay connected, the recent rise in the fake news has led to multiple violent crimes in the country.

WhatsApp has tried to curb the issue by automatically flagging fake news and restricted mass forwarding of messages, but the encrypted nature of the app prevents an effective solution to end misinformation once and for all.

Fake news is not a problem in India alone. Almost every major country is suffering from the issue, and political influence on social platforms is at an all-time high. It remains to be seen if WhatsApp’s decision to hire just a single person is enough to curb the problem of misinformation in India. The Indian government had pressured the messaging app to enable law enforcement to bypass end-to-end encryption to tackle the problem, but a solution between both parties has not been formed.

What do you think about WhatsApp’s decision to hire a grievance officer for India? Let us know in the comments below. Get instant updates on TechNadu’s Facebook page, or Twitter handle.



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