The instant messaging platform WhatsApp has released the monthly report under the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021 for the month of May. The latest report shows that the messaging app has banned over 19 lakh Indian accounts in a month and that's primarily due to violating the platform's guidelines. The latest report includes information for the period from 1 May 2022 to 31 May 2022.
Commenting on the new monthly report, a WhatsApp spokesperson said, "In accordance with the IT Rules 2021, we've published our report for the month of May 2022. This user-safety report contains details of the user complaints received and the corresponding action taken by WhatsApp, as well as WhatsApp's own preventive actions to combat abuse on our platform. As captured in the latest Monthly Report, WhatsApp banned over 1.9 million accounts in the month of May."
"WhatsApp is an industry leader in preventing abuse, among end-to-end encrypted messaging services. Over the years, we have consistently invested in Artificial Intelligence and other state-of-the-art technology, data scientists and experts, and in processes, in order to keep our users safe on our platform," the spokesperson added.
So, the question remains, why did WhatsApp ban these accounts in the first place and what should these users do?
Well, WhatsApp previously clarified that it usually bans accounts for violating the company's policies and guidelines. For instance, WhatsApp bans accounts if a user is involved in spreading false information, forwarding an unverified message to multiple contacts, and more. The messaging platform has taken several initiatives to combat such instances, including verifying external links, and more. The messaging platform also marks messages that have been forwarded multiple times, which in most instances turn out to be fake.
WhatsApp also deploys tools and resources to prevent harmful behavior on the platform. "We are particularly focused on prevention because we believe it is much better to stop harmful activity from happening in the first place than to detect it after harm has occurred. 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," the company stated in the report. WhatsApp also revealed that a team of "analysts augments these systems to evaluate edge cases and help improve our effectiveness over time."
Few rumours and leaks suggest that WhatsApp is working on providing the ability for users to revoke their banned accounts within the app. The messaging platform hasn't really confirmed anything about the capability yet.
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