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WhatsApp's big action! 70 lakh Indian accounts banned


Every month, WhatsApp bans millions of Indian users who are reported for being scammers or violating the platform's privacy policies. In its latest India Monthly Report, the Meta-owned instant messaging platform revealed that it banned around 71 lakh Indian accounts between April 1, 2024, and April 30, 2024, to prevent abuse and maintain the integrity of the platform. The company has further assured that it will continue to implement more bans if users continue to violate its rules.

WhatsApp banned a total of 7,182,000 accounts between April 1 and April 30. Of these, 1,302,000 accounts were banned proactively even before the user's report came. This proactive stance is part of WhatsApp's broader strategy to prevent abuse before it occurs. The company uses advanced machine learning and data analytics to identify suspicious behavior patterns that indicate abuse.

Notably, in April 2024, WhatsApp received 10,554 user reports on a variety of topics including account support, ban appeals, product support, and security concerns. However, only six accounts were acted upon based on these reports, reflecting the stringent criteria for account action.

The ban on Indian accounts is in line with WhatsApp's efforts to comply with the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021, which mandate the publication of compliance reports detailing actions taken in response to user complaints and law violations. The latest June 2024 report highlights WhatsApp's strict measures against harmful behavior, leveraging user complaints and its in-house sophisticated detection mechanisms.

WhatsApp bans user accounts to maintain a safe and secure environment for its users. Some of the major reasons for banning these accounts include:

Terms of Service Violation: This includes accounts that engage in spam, scams, misinformation, and harmful content.

Legal Violations: Any activity by accounts that violates local laws leads to an immediate ban.

User Reports: WhatsApp takes action based on reports from users who face abusive or inappropriate behavior.

How WhatsApp Bans Accounts

According to WhatsApp, it uses a multi-pronged approach to detect and prevent abuse. This approach tackles potential problems at different stages of a user's account lifecycle.

Frailty WhatsApp has set up a mechanism to detect and block suspicious registrations during account creation. This helps WhatsApp prevent bad guys from entering the platform in the first place.

WhatsApp uses the ITA algorithm to constantly scan messaging activity, to detect patterns that indicate harmful behavior. This includes spam messages, threats, or the spread of misinformation.

WhatsApp noted that it takes user feedback seriously and it also plays a key role in scanning accounts. When users report or block contacts, it feeds into WhatsApp's detection system. This allows WhatsApp to investigate further and potentially ban accounts.

A dedicated team of analysts at WhatsApp constantly investigates complex or unusual cases to improve the effectiveness of the system. By refining algorithms and identifying new patterns of abuse, WhatsApp strives to stay ahead of emerging threats.