“Banned Over 2 Million Indian Accounts in a Month”: Informed WhatsApp in its First Intermediary Guidelines Report

Story Highlights
  • WhatsApp submits its first compliance report on Thursday
  • Nearly 2 million Indian accounts were blocked between May 15 and June 15
  • The company’s grievance officer received a total of 345 requests during the period

Technology: Publishing their first compliance report on Thursday, WhatsApp disclosed that it banned nearly two million Indian accounts for abusing the platform services between May 15 and June 15.  The report, mandated with the country’s new Information Technology Rules, has to list details of actions taken by social media and communication platforms like WhatsApp and Twitter.

“We consistently invest in technology, people and processes to keep our users safe and secure… Our top focus is preventing accounts from sending harmful or unwanted messages at scale. We maintain advanced capabilities to identify these accounts sending a high or abnormal rate of messages and banned 2 million accounts in India alone from May 15 – June 15 attempting this kind of abuse,” WhatsApp said. 

WhatsApp stated that it deploys tools and resources to prevent harmful behaviour on the platform to keep its users’ data safe and secure. It focuses to prevent accounts from sending a harmful or unwanted message at scale. 

 “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,” the company said. 

The grievance officer received a total of 345 requests during the period, which included  70 account support queries, 204 appeals to a ban, 20 other support queries, 43 product support queries and 8 pertaining to user safety issues. The company actioned 63 of these requests. 

Significant social media intermediaries, which is defined as any intermediary with over 5 million users in India, are required to publish monthly compliance reports under India’s new IT Rules.  

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