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WhatsApp bans over 16 lakh Indian users’ accounts in April

Meta-owned instant messaging platform WhatsApp has released the monthly report under the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021 for the month of April. The latest report shows WhatsApp banned over 16 lakh Indian accounts in April and the reason is for violating the platform’s guidelines. The report captures information for the period from 1 April 2022 to 30 April 2022.

Commenting on the matter, a WhatsApp spokesperson said, “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.”

“In accordance with the IT Rules 2021, we’ve published our report for the month of April 2022. 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 1.6 million accounts in the month of April,” the spokesperson further added.

WhatsApp usually bans accounts for violating the company’s policies and guidelines. Some of the instances wherein a WhatsApp account can be banned are for sharing false information, forwarding an unverified message to multiple contacts, and more. To combat the spread of fake news on the platform, the messaging platform has various initiatives in place, including verifying external links, and more. The platform also marks messages that have been forwarded multiple times, which in most instances turn out to be fake.

WhatsApp also deploys tools and resources to prevent harmful behavior on the platform. “We are particularly focused on prevention because we believe it is much better to stop harmful activity from happening in the first place than to detect it after harm has occurred. The abuse detection operates at three stages of an account’s lifestyle: at registration, during messaging, and in response to negative feedback, which we receive in the form of user reports and blocks,” the company stated in the report. WhatsApp also revealed that a team of “analysts augments these systems to evaluate edge cases and help improve our effectiveness over time.” PTI

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