A Facebook spokesperson told Buzzfeed that the disappearances were the result of WhatsApp's policy on inactive accounts. "To maintain security and limit data retention, WhatsApp accounts generally expire after 120 days of inactivity," he said. "When that happens, those accounts automatically exit their WhatsApp groups. People will need to be re-added to groups upon regaining access to the Internet and joining WhatsApp again."
Suhail Lyser, a Kashmiri student from Dehradun, told BuzzFeed News that he saw more than 150 Kashmiris in a WhatsApp group suddenly disappear from the group. But according to another Kashmiri doctor who lives in New Delhi, people using WhatsApp due to their travels outside the state found their accounts intact.
Facebook has so far been silent on the number of Kashmiris affected. People whose accounts became extinct will have to register afresh with WhatsApp and recreate their profiles.
On August 5, India revoked the special status to Jammu and Kashmir
and bifurcated the state into two Union territories, following which all communication lines were blocked. India is the largest market for WhatsApp with some 400 million active users.