Instant messaging platform WhatsApp on Tuesday announced that it has banned over 3 million Indian accounts in the 46-day period from June 16 to July 31. In the “interest of preventing online abuse and keeping users safe” on the platform, WhatsApp said it took action against Indian accounts through its “prevention and detection method for violating the laws of India or WhatsApp’s Terms of Service”.
“Indian accounts actioned through our prevention and detection methods, for violating the laws of India or WhatsApp’s Terms of Service and user-reports or grievances received, through 2 channels e-mail [email protected] regarding violations of WhatsApp’s terms of service, or questions about accounts on WhatsApp, published in the help center or, mails received by the India Grievance Officer via post,” the company said in a statement. Previously, WhatsApp has 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. WhatsApp, in its latest report, said it received 594 user reports spanning across account support (137), ban appeal (316), other support (45), product support (64) and safety (32) during June 16-July 31. During this period, 74 accounts were “actioned”, as per the report.
WhatsApp also said a majority of users who reached out to the company are either aiming to have their account restored following an action to ban them or reaching out for product or account support. “Our top focus is preventing accounts from sending automated bulk spam at scale,” it added. WhatsApp also said it maintains advanced capabilities to identify accounts sending a high or abnormal rate of messages and bans millions of such accounts attempting this kind of abuse in India and across the world.