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GovChat tries to stop Facebook removing it from WhatsApp

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

The Competition Tribunal will hear the case from WhatsApp after the founder of South Africa's GovChat aims to challenge the removal of their platform from the app. 

GovChat, an application that works as a chatbot in partnership with the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta), is used by the government to engage with citizens on issues that need a real-time response. 

Most recently, it has been used to help with COVID-19 education and awareness, with people being able to ask the chatbot questions over WhatsApp about the virus. 

Now, Facebook-owned WhatsApp is threatening to remove the chatbot from the platform due to an alleged violation of the contractual terms of use.

Facebook says that GovChat has breached the terms of use as it is pursuing commercial interests. The chatbot founder on the other hand argues that it is operating within these terms of service. 

The case is going to be heard and GovChat aims to lean on its necessity as a platform during the second wave of the COVId-19 pandemic. 

Leila Stein is an experienced multimedia journalist and content producer with a special interest in data journalism. she is skilled in news writing, editing, online writing and multimedia content production and have a Bachelor of Journalism  from Rhodes University and an Honours in Historical Studies from University of Cape Town.