WhatsApp banned over 30 lakh Indian accounts through July
Facebook-owned instant messaging service WhatsApp has released its latest compliance report. According to the document, a staggering 30,27,000 Indian accounts were banned from the platform in the period between June 16 and July 31 this year. The report details the user complaints received, the corresponding action taken by WhatsApp, and the messaging service's steps to combat abuse on the platform.
WhatsApp files report according to guidelines for social media intermediaries
WhatsApp has filed the latest compliance report in accordance with the IT Ministry's guidelines for social media intermediaries. These laws came into force on May 26 this year and mandate every digital platform with over five million users to publish a monthly compliance report that details the complaints received by the platform and how the complaints were acted upon.
It received 594 grievance reports from customers
WhatsApp claims that messages are end-to-end encrypted, so it can't read them. Instead, it relies on behavioral signals, artificial intelligence tools, and user reports to detect abuse. According to the filing, WhatsApp received 594 grievance reports for customer support (137), ban appeals (316), other kinds of support (45), product support (64), and safety (32) in the period between June 16 and July 31.
Not all reports were marked as 'actioned' for various reasons
Based on these grievance reports, WhatsApp "actioned" upon 74 accounts. This means that it either banned an account for abuse or reinstated a banned account following a complaint. The compliance report noted that grievance issues might have been reviewed but not marked as "Actioned" for reasons including the user requiring assistance to access features, and the denial of requests to restore banned accounts.
Majority of accounts were banned for sending spam, bulk messages
WhatsApp said that over 95 percent of the 30+ lakh Indian accounts were banned for unauthorized automated or bulk messaging. The report identified WhatsApp accounts as Indian if they were registered using a phone number bearing country code +91. The messaging platform added that on average it bans 80 lakh accounts around the world every month to curtail abuse on its platform.