WhatsApp banned over 2.2 million Indian accounts in September
“Over the years, we have consistently invested in AI and other state-of-the -art technology, data scientists and experts, and in processes, in order to keep our users safe on our platform,” a WhatsApp spokesperson stated. “This user-safety report contains details of user complaints received and the corresponding action taken by WhatsApp as well as WhatsApp’s own preventive actions to combat abuse on our platform.”
Previously, the Facebook-owned company had stated that more than 95% of the ban was due to the unauthorised use of automated or bulk messaging (spam). The global average number of accounts that WhatsApp bans to prevent abuse on its platform is about 8 million accounts per month.
In accordance with India IT Rules 2021, WhatsApp has published its fourth monthly report for the 30-day period of September 1-30. It received 560 user reports spanning across account support (121), ban appeal (309), other support and product support (49 each) and safety (32) during September. Fifty-one accounts were actioned based on the reports received. WhatsApp said “Accounts Actioned” denotes remedial action taken based on the reports. Taking action denotes either banning an account or a previously banned account being restored as a result of the complaint. Also, reports may have been reviewed but not included as ‘Actioned’ for many 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.
About two million Indian accounts were banned by WhatsApp while 420 grievance reports were received by the messaging platform in August.
The new IT rules, which came into effect in May, require large digital platforms (with more than five million users) to publish compliance reports every month, mentioning the details of complaints received and action taken.
Previously, WhatsApp had emphasised that being an end-to-end encrypted platform, it has no visibility into the content of any messages. Besides behavioural signals from accounts, it relies on available unencrypted information — user reports, profile photos, group photos and descriptions as well as advanced AI tools and resources — to detect and prevent abuse on its platform, it had said.