The Acquisition of WhatsApp by Facebook
In February 2014, Facebook acquired WhatsApp for $19 billion, making it the biggest acquisition in Facebook’s history. The acquisition was met with both excitement and skepticism, with many wondering why Facebook was willing to pay such a high price for a company that had only 55 employees at the time. Some analysts believed that Facebook was trying to tap into WhatsApp’s massive user base, which was estimated to be around 450 million at the time.
The WhatsApp Controversies
In 2018, WhatsApp was hit by a major scandal when it was revealed that the app had been used to spread fake news and misinformation during the Indian elections. The Indian government demanded that WhatsApp take measures to curb the spread of fake news, and the company responded by limiting the number of times a message could be forwarded. However, this move did not entirely stop the spread of misinformation on the app.
This move was met with outrage in India, where WhatsApp has over 500 million users. Many users began to migrate to alternative apps like Signal and Telegram, which have seen a surge in popularity since the controversy began. The Indian government also got involved, issuing a notice to WhatsApp asking for an explanation of the new policy and its implications for user data privacy.
The Role of Elizabeth Dwoskin and Alex Kantrowitz in WhatsApp’s Controversies
Elizabeth Dwoskin and Alex Kantrowitz are two prominent journalists who have covered WhatsApp’s controversies extensively. Dwoskin, who writes for The Washington Post, has reported extensively on the impact of WhatsApp on politics and elections, including its role in spreading misinformation during the Indian elections. She has also written about the privacy concerns surrounding WhatsApp and Facebook’s use of user data.
The role of journalists like Elizabeth Dwoskin and Alex Kantrowitz is crucial in holding companies accountable and shedding light on issues related to data privacy. Their reporting has helped to bring attention to the impact of WhatsApp on politics and elections, as well as the privacy concerns surrounding the app.