WhatsApp: Banned over 2 million Indian accounts

by Technology | 02-10-2021 | 1052 views

WhatsApp banned more than two million Indian accounts and received 420 grievance reports in August, the Facebook-owned company has said in its compliance report. WhatsApp said in its report released on Tuesday that 20,70,000 Indian accounts were banned during the said period. WhatsApp also said it received 420 user reports spanning across account support (105), ban appeal (222), other support (34), product support (42) and safety (17) during August and that 41 accounts were "actioned" or took remedial action during this period. According to the messaging platform, taking action means it has either banned an account or restored a previously banned account as a result of the complaint.

More than three million Indian accounts were banned by WhatsApp, which also received 594 grievance reports, between June 16 and July 31. The company has said in the past that more than 95 per cent of bans are due to the unauthorised use of automated or bulk messaging or spam. The global average number of accounts that WhatsApp bans to prevent abuse on its platform is around 8 million accounts per month.

It also said that it may have reviewed the reports but may not have included them as “actioned” for reasons, including the user needing assistance to access their account or to use some features, user-requested restoration of a banned account and the request is denied, or if the reported account does not violate the laws of India or WhatsApp's terms of service.

The government’s new IT rules, which came into effect on May 26, require large digital platforms with more than 5 million users to publish compliance reports every month, mentioning the details of complaints received and action taken. WhatsApp has emphasised in the past that it has no visibility into the content of any messages as it is an end-to-end encrypted platform. It said that besides the behavioural signals from accounts, it relies on available unencrypted information, including user reports, profile photos, group photos and descriptions as well as advanced AI tools and resources to detect and prevent abuse on its platform.

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