Why WhatsApp banned 14.26 lakh Indian accounts in February?

Like its messaging service, WhatsApp is now steadfast in its approach to take action against the users violating the code of conduct on its platform. In one such move – which is more frequent now in order to rein in violators – the Meta-owned company has imposed a ban on 14.26 lakh Indian accounts in February.

These bans are based on complaints received from users via grievances channel and through its own mechanism to prevent and detect violations, as per a monthly transparency report published by WhatsApp. It must be noted that the report is published under Rule 4(1)(d) of the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021.

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As per their recent (9th) user safety monthly report, 335 grievance reports, including 194 ban appeals, were received and 21 accounts were “actioned” between February 1 and February 28. Whereas, others were in the categories of account support, product support and safety, among others. Notably, an Indian account is identified via a +91 phone number.

The popular messaging platform banned 18,58,000 Indian accounts in January this year, based on its abuse detection approach, in response to grievances reported by users in India and for violating the country’s laws or WhatsApp’s Terms of Service. The report also brings to fore action taken in continuance to negative feedback received from users via our “Report” feature.

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“We respond to all grievances received except in cases where a grievance is deemed to be a duplicate of a previous ticket. An account is ‘actioned’ when an account is banned or a previously banned account is restored, as a result of a complaint,”

According to media reports quoting a WhatsApp spokesperson: “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.”

The spokesperson further added that over the years, WhatsApp has consistently invested in Artificial Intelligence and other state-of-the-art technology, data scientists and experts, and processes, in order to keep users safe on the platform.

Also Read: WhatsApp introduces Code Verify, an additional layer of security for web users: Get details here

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