New Delhi: Over two million Indian accounts were banned by WhatsApp, while 500 grievance reports were received by the messaging platform in October, according to its compliance report.
In its latest report released on Monday, WhatsApp said 2,069,000 Indian accounts were banned on WhatsApp during the said period.
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, the platform has published its fifth monthly report for the month of October, the spokesperson said.
“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. As captured in the latest monthly report, WhatsApp banned over two million accounts in the month of October,” the spokesperson said.
Previously, the Facebook-owned company had stated that more than 95 per cent of bans are 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.
Over 2.2 million Indian accounts were banned by WhatsApp, while 560 grievance reports were received by the messaging platform in the month of September.
WhatsApp, in its latest report, said it received 500 user reports spanning across account support (146), ban appeal (248), other support (42), product support (53), and safety (11) during October.
During this period, 18 accounts were “actioned” under the ban appeal category based on the reports received.
WhatsApp explained that “Accounts Actioned” denotes reports where it took remedial action based on the report.
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.
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.