November 2, 2021 4:06:10 pm
More than 2.2 million Indian accounts were banned by WhatsApp while 560 grievance reports were received by the messaging platform in September, according to its compliance report.
In its latest report released on Monday, WhatsApp said 2,209,000 Indian accounts on the platform were banned in September.
An Indian account is identified via a ‘+91’ phone number, it added. “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,” a WhatsApp spokesperson said.
In accordance with the IT Rules 2021, WhatsApp has published its fourth monthly report for the 30-day period of September 1-30. “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 said.
Previously, the Facebook-owned company had stated that more than 95 per cent of the ban was due to the unauthorised use of automated or bulk messaging (spam). The global average number of accounts that WhatsApp bans to prevent abuse on its platform is around 8 million accounts per month.
WhatsApp, in its latest report, said it received 560 user reports spanning across account support (121), ban appeal (309), other support and product support (49 each) and safety (32) during September. During this period, 51 accounts were actioned based on the reports received. WhatsApp explained that “Accounts Actioned” denotes remedial action taken based on the reports.
Taking action denotes either banning an account or a previously banned account being restored as a result of the complaint. Also, reports may have been reviewed but not included as ‘Actioned’ for many reasons, including the user needing assistance to access their account or to use some features, user-requested restoration of a banned account and the request is denied, or if the reported account does not violate the laws of India or WhatsApp’s Terms of Service.
About 2 million Indian accounts were banned by WhatsApp while 420 grievance reports were received by the messaging platform in August.
The new IT rules — which came into effect in May — require large digital platforms (with over 5 million users) to publish compliance reports every month, mentioning the details of complaints received and action taken.
Previously, WhatsApp had emphasised that being an end-to-end encrypted platform, it has no visibility into the content of any messages.
Besides the behavioural signals from accounts, it relies on available unencrypted information, including user reports, profile photos, group photos and descriptions as well as advanced AI tools and resources to detect and prevent abuse on its platform, it had said.