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WhatsApp hires grievance officer to battle fake news in India

The country's 200 million WhatsApp users can email the ex-Facebook staffer directly.

WhatsApp has hired a grievance officer for India in order to meet a key demand set by the country's government to halt the spread of fake messages that triggered mob lynchings. In an update to its FAQ section, WhatsApp directs users to lodge complaints through the mobile app, send an email, or write in to grievance officer Komal Lahiri (formerly of Facebook and PayPal), who's based out of the US. According to her LinkedIn, Lahiri was brought on in March as "senior director of global customer operations and localization."

Earlier this year, a series of violent mob attacks fuelled by misinformation circulated via WhatsApp left 12 people dead in the span of a month. Since then, the company has taken out ads in newspapers in an effort to educate locals on fake news. It also began labelling forwarded messages and limiting the ability to forward texts to multiple chats at once. India's other key demands require WhatsApp set up a local presence that meets the country's laws (which it's reportedly working on). But it's thus far refused to track messages as it goes against its policies on privacy and security.

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