A Brazilian judge has ordered wireless phone carriers to block access to Facebook Inc's WhatsApp for 72 hours throughout Latin America's largest country. As Hayley Platt reports, it's the second such incident against the popular messaging application in five months.
It's reportedly Brazil's most used app. But a judge there has ordered WhatsApp to be shut down for 72 hours. The free messaging app, owned by Facebook, is popular in Brazil because mobile phone charges are high. Around 100 million users will be affected. (SOUNDBITE) (Portuguese) WHATSAPP USER, NODGI BARRETO, SAYING: "I'm already feeling it, because I keep in contact with my school, university, former pupils, and no one knows what to do." (SOUNDBITE) (Portuguese) WHATSAPP USER, ALINE MOREIRA, SAYING: "It's going to be difficult. I was joking with my friends that people are going crazy, going out and killing in the streets because they don't have whastapp." It's the second time in five months the app has been blocked. And in March the same judge jailed a Brazil-based Facebook executive for failing to comply with the ruling. He was quickly freed. This time five of Brazil's main wireless operators have been ordered to withdraw their services to WhatsApp. The precise reason can't be disclosed for legal reasons. But WhatsApp says it's "disappointed at the decision" after doing the utmost to cooperate with Brazilian tribunals.