WhatsApp banned 18.05 lakh Indian accounts in March, on the basis of complaints received from users via grievance channels and through its own mechanism to prevent and detect violations, according to a monthly report published by the messaging platform.
The new IT rules, which came into effect last year, require large digital platforms (with over 50 lakh users) to publish compliance reports every month, mentioning the details of complaints received and action taken.
According to the latest report, 18.05 lakh Indian accounts were banned by WhatsApp between March 1 and 31 using the “abuse detection approach, which also includes action taken in furtherance to negative feedback received from users...”
An Indian account is identified via a +91 phone number.
“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 1.8 million accounts in the month of March,” a WhatsApp spokesperson said.
WhatsApp had banned 14.26 lakh Indian accounts during February.
Meanwhile, the WhatsApp spokesperson further said that 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 users safe.
As many as 597 grievance reports were received and 74 accounts were “actioned” in March 2022.
Out of the total reports received, 407 pertained to 'ban appeal' while others were in the categories of account support, product support and safety, among others.
“We respond to all grievances received except in cases where a grievance is deemed to be a duplicate of a previous ticket. An account is 'actioned' when an account is banned or a previously banned account is restored, as a result of a complaint,” the report said.