Let’s talk about one of the fastest growing apps in technology today, the WhatsApp. The message app has become so popular and so effective even Facebook bought it out and put WhatsApp in it’s lineup. Apparently, one nation isn’t so impressed.
The Brazilian government orders cable and telecommunication companies to censor WhatsApp for 48 hours. The app was blocked because WhatsApp didn’t respond properly to a criminal case. ?The blocking wasn’t in response to catching a serial killer, drug cartel, terrorist organization or hate group. It was in response to a petitioner seeking an injunction against the company! Brazilian telecom companies have been campaigning for their government to limit free VOIP (Voice Over Internet Services). According to a high ranking criminal court in Sao Paulo, WhatsApp didn’t respond to a court order. Prosecutors requested, and got, a blockage of WhatsApp services for 48 hours. Naturally, the app company expressed great disappointment in this ruling. Keep in mind 93%of Brazilian regular online users access Whats App to help avoid astronomical phone service costs. Some Brazilian phone companies even want this app declared illegal. In response, WhatsApp CEO Jan Koum?accused Brazil of isolating itself from the rest of the world. Nobody knows who the petitioner is.
And it’s not stopping Brazilians from messaging either. Rival company Telegram gained 1.5 million new customers since this fiasco began! I should call this whole situation more than a fiasco. I call it a borderline shootout situation between WhatsApp and Brazilian telecom corporations. And the Brazilian people are caught in the crossfire. They didn’t ask for this. Business wise, I understand telecom companies are losing money. But if they lower their prices to an affordable rate, maybe the people wouldn’t have to turn to WhatsApp. Do they ever think of that? The year 2015 hasn’t been kind to Brazil at all. They’ve dealt with economic recession, environmental ?problems, political unrest, and more. They don’t need this, especially with the Olympics coming their way next year. Don’t you think shutting down a global messenger app is a little extreme to solve this dispute? Why take it out on the people?