WhatsApp banned over 19 lakh Indian accounts in May

New Delhi: According to the latest monthly report published by the messaging platform, Meta-owned WhatsApp in May based on complaints received from users through its complaints channel and through its own mechanism to prevent and detect breaches. Banned over 19 lakh Indian accounts. New IT rules that came into force last year mandate large digital platforms (with over 50 lakh users) to publish compliance reports every month, detailing complaints received and action taken.

A WhatsApp spokesperson said, “As recorded in the latest monthly report, WhatsApp has banned over 1.9 million accounts in the month of May.” (Also Read: PPF, Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana, Senior Citizen Scheme, Others: Here’s How Much Interest They Pay)

The spokesperson said the user-safety report details user complaints and related action taken by WhatsApp as well as the platform’s own preventive actions to tackle abuse. (Also Read: Over 8,000 Government Officials Promoted By Centre)

An Indian account is identified through the +91 phone number prefix.

According to the report released on Friday, 19.10 lakh Indian accounts were banned by WhatsApp between May 1 and May 31, 2022 “using an abuse detection approach, including further action for negative feedback received from users”. Includes…”

In comparison, the messaging platform had banned more than 16 lakh accounts of Indian users in April and 18.05 lakh such accounts in March.

“Over the years, we have continuously invested in artificial intelligence and other cutting-edge technology, data scientists and experts and processes to keep our users safe on our platform,” the spokesperson added.

During May 2022, reports of 528 complaints were received and 24 accounts were “actioned”. Of the total reports received, 303 were related to ‘ban appeals’, while others were in the categories of account support, product support and security. other.

“We respond to all complaints received, except in cases where a complaint is deemed to be a duplicate of a previous ticket. An account is ‘actioned’ when an account is banned or has already been processed as a result of a complaint.” The banned account is reinstated,” the report said.

The government is in the midst of finalizing new social media rules that propose giving users a complaint appeal mechanism against arbitrary content moderation, inaction or takedown decisions by big tech companies.

The IT ministry, last month, circulated draft rules that propose a government panel to hear user appeals against inaction or against content-related decisions on complaints made by grievance officers of social media platforms.

The ministry had said, “At present, there is no appellate mechanism provided by intermediaries and no credible self-regulatory mechanism exists”.

Large social media firms have in the past drawn criticism over hate speech, misinformation and fake news circulating on their platforms. Concerns have also been raised about digital platforms acting arbitrarily in pulling down content and ‘de-platforming’ users. The government last year notified IT rules to make digital intermediaries more accountable and responsible for the content hosted on their platforms.