Kashmiri WhatsApp accounts are being automatically deactivated because of India’s internet shutdown
Indian policemen inspecting the site of a blast in Srinagar in Kashmir. | Photo credit should read Idrees Abbas / Echoes Wire / Barcroft Media via Getty Images
On Wednesday, reports on social media appeared of Kashmiri WhatsApp users leaving group chats in droves. This was a surprise to friends and relatives outside the region given that India has shut down Kashmir’s internet for over four months as part of a dispute over the area’s autonomy.
Some thought the activity might be sign of a further crackdown, but, as first reported by BuzzFeed News, the accounts are being automatically removed in line with Facebook’s inactivity policy. If users don’t log into their account for 120 days (four months), they’re deactivated, meaning individuals will have to sign up to the service again.
“To maintain security and limit data retention, WhatsApp accounts generally expire after 120 days of inactivity,” a…