Hong Kong Police’s WhatsApp hotlines for “reporting” – suspended after only three days
The Hong Kong Police recently launched 10 “Anti-Violence Whatsapp Hotlines” for members of the public to report anti-violence information via the platform. Although Chief Superintendent of Police Public Relations Branch, John Tse said the service was welcomed by the public, online comments expressed concern regarding the hotlines, as they believe the authorities were trying to acquire personal data of Anti-Extradition protesters. Some LIHKG users suggested reporting the case to the operator for violating its Terms of Service. Only 4 days after its official launch, there were already reports saying the service was not operational. The police said in a statement that it was the force that had decided to suspend the hotline because of mixed views it had received about it. Yet Facebook Hong Kong said in a statement that Whatsapp is primarily designed for private messaging and the company will take action to prevent bulk and automated messaging. As a result, the hotlines were taken down.