WhatsApp bans 3 million Indian accounts in 46 days: Why the ban, how WhatsApp identifies these account and more


WhatsApp banned over 3 million-plus Indian accounts in the one-and-a-half months between June 16-July 31. The numbers have been revealed in the company’s latest compliance report. In accordance with the IT Rules 2021, WhatsApp has published its second monthly report for the 46 day period of – 16 June to 31 July. The company said in a statement that 3,027,000 Indian accounts were banned on WhatsApp during during the said period. “Over the years, the platform has consistently invested in Artificial Intelligence and other state of the art technology, data scientists and experts, and in processes, in order to keep its users safe on the platform,” a WhatsApp spokesperson said. Here’s why the accounts were banned, how WhatsApp identifies them and more …



How WhatsApp identifies Indian accounts

An Indian account is identified via a +91 phone number.



Why WhatsApp banned these accounts

As per the report, WhatsApp received 594 user reports spanning across account support (137), ban appeal (316), other support (45), product support (64) and safety (32) between June 16-July 31.



What are “Accounts Actioned”

During this period, 74 accounts were “actioned”. WhatsApp explained that “Accounts Actioned” means cases where the company took remedial action based on the report. Taking action means 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 some 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.



How WhatsApp identifies accounts that need to be banned, considering it is end-to-end encrypted

Other than those accounts for which the company receives complaints of abuse or sending spam, WhatsApp depends on behavioural signals to identify misuse of the platform. The company says that 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.



Why WhatsApp is reporting these numbers now

The new IT rules, which came into effect on May 26 2021, require large digital platforms (with over 5 million users) to publish compliance reports every month. These reports need to mention the details of complaints received and action taken.



8 million WhatsApp accounts are banned per month globally

The global average number of accounts that WhatsApp bans to prevent abuse on its platform is around 8 million accounts per month.


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