Washington DC: Social media giant Facebook suspended 10 "anti-violent" WhatsApp hotlines of Hong Kong Police, used by the forces to obtain intelligence inputs on the pro-democracy protesters in the semi-autonomous region.

The hotlines were intended to serve as platforms for obtaining intelligence on the protesters' activities by observing the photos and videos shared by its members. 

According to the South China Morning Post, Facebook, with less than 72 hours after their launch, stepped in and suspended these hotlines as the messenger app was intended for private messaging only.

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Earlier, a statement issued by a Facebook spokesperson said that the terms of use of the app state that any non-personal use of the services was not allowed unless otherwise authorised by the company. 

"WhatsApp is primarily designed for private messaging, and we take action to prevent bulk and automated messaging," the statement read.

While the police have said that it 'decided' to suspend the hotline because it received mixed reviews, South China Morning Post learnt that some of the hotlines were down and the police found them inoperable.

"Since the hotline started to operate, a large amount of information was received, and at the same time, there were different opinions on the hotline," a statement by the police read. "As a result, the police decided to suspend the hotline."

Notably, the statement added that the police would "continue to explore various channels to collect information for the prevention and detection of crime".