Kashmiris have been cut off from the rest of the world for the past 4 months following the revocation of Article 370, ending the special status of the disputed territory.
In this regard, WhatsApp users have now started reporting that a huge number of Kashmiris are leaving groups after 4 months of inactivity. While it seemed strange to everyone at first, it was later found that it was because of WhatsApp’s policy regarding inactive users.
The social messaging app, owned by Facebook, has a policy that states that WhatsApp accounts generally expire after 120 days of inactivity.
To maintain security and limit data retention, WhatsApp accounts generally expire after 120 days of inactivity. When that happens, those accounts automatically exit their WhatsApp groups. People will need to be re-added to groups upon regaining access to the Internet and joining WhatsApp again.
WhatsApp is one of the most popular messaging apps across the globe, with huge popularity in the sub-continent including the Indian Occupied Kashmir.
4 months of inactivity, WhatsApp accounts from Kashmir are getting deleted. Weird to see individuals you haven't spoken for all these months 'leave' WA groups whereas in reality an important part of their digital imprint – images, videos, texts & memories attached – vanishing.
— Khalid Shah (@khalidbshah) December 4, 2019
The same didn’t happen for any Kashmiri WhatsApp user who got to use the internet by moving out of the region for even a brief amount of time.
Initially, some believed that it was either due to the fact that internet services were restored in the region and people were knowingly leaving these groups or it was a move of the Indian government, however, it’s only because of the policy. This, however, rubs salt on the wounds of Kashmiris, those in the region and away from home, reminding them of the atrocious attitude of the Indian authorities.
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