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WhatsApp is banned for 200 million people for 48 hours – but why?

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WhatsApp

One of the world’s most popular apps has temporarily lost a huge chunk of its userbase.

WhatsApp has been banned in Brazil for a total 48 hours, starting at 2:00am today.

The country, which has a population of just over 200 million, can no longer access the hugely popular messaging service.

The ban comes courtesy of a court order by a Brazilian judge, affecting Brazil’s 100 million WhatsApp users.

“Because WhatsApp did not respond to a court order of July 23, 2015, on August 7, 2015, the company was again notified, with there being a fixed penalty in case of non-compliance,” explains the Sao Paolo court.

It continues: “As yet the company did not attend the court order, the prosecution requrested the blocking of services for a period of 48 hours…which was granted by Judge Sandra Regina Nostre Marques.”

WhatsApp is currently own by web giant Facebook, the world’s largest social media network.

CEO Mark Zuckerberg posted the following to his Facebook page:

zuckerberg

WhatsApp is currently being lobbied against in Brazil, with telecoms operators disputing the service’s legality. However, the exact reason behind the latest block hasn't been revealed, although it's said that the issue is related to a third-party, as noted by the Telegraph.

It’s worth noting that the ban also appears to be affected users in Venezuela, Argentina, and Chile, according to reports on Twitter:

Related: Best Android Apps 2015

Has the WhatsApp outage affected you? And should governments be allowed to shut down major communications services as punishment? Tell us your thoughts in the comment.

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