WhatsApp is a highly popular social media platform that is extensively used across the globe. It has gained such immense popularity that it has become a viable alternative to in-person communication. However, relying too heavily on text-based messaging services like WhatsApp can lead to a fear of missing out and a decrease in self-confidence when anticipated responses are not received. Despite these challenges, WhatsApp has managed to amass an impressive user base of around 2 billion people worldwide.
Nevertheless, certain countries have imposed limitations on the use of WhatsApp due to various reasons. Here are a few noteworthy examples.
China’s strict censorship policies pose limitations for WhatsApp. Despite the availability of alternative methods like VPNs to access the platform, difficulties remain in conducting voice or video calls. As a result of widespread citizen uprisings and protests, the supreme leader of Iran has recently imposed a ban on the usage of WhatsApp. Interestingly, the authorities in Iran have attributed this decision to their belief in a supposed Zionist conspiracy, claiming that WhatsApp, which is owned by Meta’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg, is involved in it.
The usage of internet in North Korea is strictly controlled by the government, and only a privileged group of the ruling class is authorized to access it.
Additionally, they are not allowed to use any foreign websites or applications, such as WhatsApp. Syria has been embroiled in a long-lasting civil war since 2011, leading to an increased level of control by the Syrian government over communication and information channels. As part of this control, the Syrian regime has taken measures to ban or disrupt certain apps, including WhatsApp, which is seen as a means for activists and rebels to coordinate and communicate.
Turkey has enforced a ban on various social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and WhatsApp. The government led by President Erdoğan has put forward a bill to make spreading false information a criminal offense and to exert more authority over social media. This move has been met with resistance from both members of parliament and civil society. Furthermore, Turkish authorities have requested user data from WhatsApp, but the platform has declined to cooperate.