Current AffairsIndia

Why did WhatsApp ban 2 Million Indian Accounts?

At least 2 million accounts in India are blocked by WhatsApp from May 15 to June 15 reported by a compliance report released by WhatsApp. The accounts were blocked using automated technology.

In the one month duration, the company received 345 complaints from India out of 530 million users. These complaints included 70 cases of account support in which users reported problems regarding their accounts but no action taken against them. 204 cases appealing the fact that their accounts were blocked out of which only 63 complaints were taken and 20 more issues of other support were registered.

Also 43 cases of product support, referring to product services like payments service offered by the company, including eight safety issues that were pointed out. Out of 345 total complaints received by WhatsApp, it acted against 63 accounts from May 15 to June 15.

The company has earlier challenged the traceability clause of the social media and intermediary guidelines, according to which it is mandatory to release a monthly grievance compliance report. WhatsApp released its very first such report for India. WhatsApp is the fourth company after Google, Facebook and Twitter.

According to some experts familiar with WhatsApp’s compliance efforts on confidentiality, automated removal of accounts has occurred using a variety of behavioural signals like mass broadcasts and without disturbing end-to-end encryption policy.

The users are blocked for violating WhatsApp rules and most of these users are blocked because they were indulged in spam message abuses according to the compliance report. WhatsApp also mentioned that the global average is around 8 million accounts banned per month in which India alone contributes 25 percent of all the accounts banned in the world.

In the first edition of the report published on Thursday by WhatsApp it mentioned the company’s concern on averting accounts from sharing abusive or useless messages at scale. About 95% of the accounts are blocked due to uncertified use of automated texting. The company also said that the compliance report will be released every 30-45 days from now onwards.

According to the company the number of banned accounts has increased since 2019 remarkably. The platform did not reveal the numbers of information requests it received from the government. This report also came after the Indian government imposed the latest IT rules that necessitated social media intermediaries to release monthly compliance reports.

 

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