WhatsApp bans over 2 million Indian accounts in October

WhatsApp bans over 2 million Indian accounts in October

WhatsApp banned over 2 million accounts in India during October 2021, a small dip compared to the more than 2.2 million Indian accounts it banned in September, according to its latest monthly user safety report released on Wednesday.

WhatsApp bans over 2 million Indian accounts in October (Photo: Reuters) WhatsApp bans over 2 million Indian accounts in October (Photo: Reuters)

The Meta-owned messaging platform said it received 500 grievance reports from users. Last month, the number was 560. WhatsApp identifies an Indian account by a +91 code before the phone number, it said.

The app has been publishing these monthly reports since July in line with the IT (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021.

According to the rules, large digital platforms (with over 5 million users) have to publish compliance reports every month, mentioning the details of complaints received and action taken. Research firm Statista estimates WhatsApp has 487 million users in India, its largest market.

In its latest report, the fifth such thus far, it said it received 500 user reports spanning across account support (146), ban appeal (248), other support (42) and product support (53 each) and safety (11) during October.

Out of these, 18 accounts were “actioned”, meaning they were either banned or a previously banned account was 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, it said.

The app, which has been banning 2 million accounts a month on an average since mid-May, says messages on its platform are end-to-end encrypted and that 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, it had said.

WhatsApp added that it deploys tools and resources to detect abuse at three stages - registration, during messaging, and in response to negative feedback.

Previously, the firm had stated that more than 95 per cent of the ban was 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.

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Published on: Dec 01, 2021, 9:08 PM IST
Posted by: Tarab Zaidi, Dec 01, 2021, 8:52 PM IST