- WhatsApp is an industry leader in preventing abuse.
- WhatsApp bans over 20 lakh Indian accounts in October; receives 500 grievances.
- User-safety report contains details of the user complaints received and the corresponding action taken.
Facebook-owned messaging giant WhatsApp banned two million Indian accounts for abusing the platform’s services in October, the company said in its fifth compliance report published under India’s new IT Rules. The company’s grievance officer received a total of 500 requests during the period. This includes 70 account support queries, 204 appeals to a ban, 20 other support queries, 63 product support queries, and 8 pertaining to user safety issues. The company actioned 93 of these requests.
The new IT rules – which came into effect in May – require large digital platforms (with over 5 million users) to publish compliance reports every month, mentioning the details of complaints received and action taken.
The monthly compliance reports are mandated by the Indian IT law and need to highlight two aspects: grievances received from users in India through WhatsApp’s grievance mechanisms and accounts actioned in India through WhatsApp’s prevention and detection methods for violating the laws of India or the company’s terms of service.
Whatsapp said in the report:
“The abuse detection operates at three stages of an account’s lifestyle: at registration; during messaging; and in response to negative feedback, which we receive in the form of user reports and blocks. A team of analysts augments these systems to evaluate edge cases and help improve our effectiveness over time”.
If your account is banned, you’ll see the following message when trying to access WhatsApp: “Your phone number is banned from using WhatsApp. Contact support for help. The Company will not issue a warning before banning your account. If you think your account is banned by mistake, please email us and we’ll look into your case”.
The company further shared some details around the ban and added that over 95 percent of such account bans are because of unauthorized use of automated or bulk messaging which can be classified as Spam. WhatsApp adds that the global monthly average is about 8 million accounts banned or disabled every month.
During this period, 18 accounts were “actioned” under the ban appeal category based on the reports received. WhatsApp explained that “Accounts Actioned” denotes reports where it took remedial action based on the report.
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