Hopelessly hooked on WhatsApp, Brazilians – more often than not – forced to go cold turkey

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Brazilians know the drill pretty well: A first-degree judge somewhere around South America’s powerhouse asks WhatsApp to hand over information on someone the police are investigating, and the answer is always the same – “We don’t have access to user data.” Then, an order is issued blocking the service across the country. No sooner does the App go dead than millions and millions of users start getting full-blown withdrawal symptoms; attorneys rush to courts; TV stations have a field day interviewing disgruntled, panicky customers; Mr. Zuckerberg – from far, far away in Silicon Valley – takes to his social media of choice to denounce Brazilian authorities; and international media outlets desperately try to explain to the world what’s going on. Finally, some excruciating, painful time later, the decision is overturned, and once again – frantic addicts can get their fix.

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