On Wednesday, Kashmiris began disappearing from WhatsApp — and no one is quite sure why. Citizens of the disputed geographical territory whose autonomy the Indian government revoked in August, abruptly and inexplicably began departing WhatsApp groups in which they had long participated, leaving only a “[Phone number] left” message behind.
Facebook-owned WhatsApp is used by some 400 million Indians, making the country the company’s largest market in the world. WhatsApp groups dominate online conversations in India, and most Indians with access to a smartphone participate in a few. So when Kashmiri people began disappearing en masse from groups to which they belonged, a lot of people noticed.
After all, it has been four months since India’s government had shut down Kashmir’s internet services, cutting off the region from the rest of the world — which suggests that the Kashmiris who’ve been disappearing from their Whatsapp groups this
This article was originally published on on Buzzfeed.
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