WhatsApp banned over 2.2 million accounts in September, according to a new report

WhatsApp stated that 2,209,000 Indian accounts on the messaging platform were banned in September.

Highlights
  • The report states that WhatsApp received 560 grievance reports between September 1st and 30th.
  • During this period, 51 accounts were “actioned” based on the reports received.
  • In August, WhatsApp banned about 2 million Indian accounts, while it received 420 grievance reports.

Facebook-owned messaging application, WhatsApp, in a new report stated that it banned 22,209,000 accounts in India in September. The report also said that the messaging platform received 560 grievance reports between September 1st and 30th. The report further conveys that all the grievance reports included 21 instances of account support, 309 ban appeals, other support and product support (49 each), and 32 grievance reports related to safety.

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As per the report, 51 accounts were “actioned” based on the reports received. “Accounts Actioned” denotes remedial action taken based on the grievance reports. A WhatsApp spokesperson said that “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.”

WhatsApp has also published its fourth monthly report for the 30-day period of September 1st-30th. “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,” a WhatsApp spokesperson said.

An Indian account is identified via a ’91’ phone number, the report further added. Previously the company had stated that more than 95 per cent of the ban was due to the unauthorised use of automated or bulk messaging (spam). The global average number of accounts that WhatsApp bans to prevent abuse on its platform is around 8 million accounts per month. That’s why WhatsApp has always emphasised, that being an end-to-end encrypted platform, it has no visibility into the content of any messages and hence it wants its users to report them of suspected activities and fraud on their platform.

Besides the behavioural signals from accounts, WhatsApp 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.