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WhatsApp responds to Government notice, Twitter office visited by Police over refusal to comply

WhatsApp has responded to the government over the notice it received regarding the revocation of the updated privacy policy

WhatsApp, on Monday, said that it had told the Indian government that the privacy of its users is the company’s utmost priority. This comes after the ministry had sent a second notice to WhatsApp regarding the revocation of its updated privacy policy which was to come into effect from May 15th.

“We have responded to the Government of India’s letter and assured them that the privacy of users remains our highest priority,” the company said in a statement on Monday. WhatsApp also said its update did not change the privacy of peoples’ personal messages and was only applicable on chats with business accounts.

WhatsApp earlier informed that it would limit the functionality of the app for the users who fail to accept the privacy policy. But following a global backlash, WhatsApp later issued a statement saying, “We will not limit the functionality of how WhatsApp works in the coming weeks. Instead, we will continue to remind users from time to time about the update”.

In a separate news, Twitter on Thursday tagged a post by BJP’s national spokesperson Sambit Patra as “manipulated media”, a term used by social media platforms to denote fake or tampered media. This tag attracted attention from the Indian government as per which the US-based social media company’s action was termed as ‘biased’.

This is the second time a tweet by Sambhit Patra has been labelled ‘Manipulated Media’. The first time it happened back in January when the BJP spokesperson had shared a video of Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal in which the CM was made to sound like supporting the Farm Laws.

Twitter says it uses a mix of technology and expert human review to label content. “In order to determine if media have been significantly and deceptively altered or fabricated, we may use our own technology or receive reports through partnerships with third parties”, the company has explained in a blog.

Twitter has so far refused to remove the labels from multiple tweets from various members of the country’s ruling party. As a result of this, Twitter’s India office received a visit from the Police after a complaint was filed against the social media platform. “Congress has filed the complaint. Police have the right to inquire about it,” said R.P. Singh, a BJP spokesman, on Tuesday. “Twitter has also marked the tweet as ‘manipulated media’. Now Twitter must show the proof”.

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