The Facebook-owned instant messaging platform WhatsApp removed around 2 million accounts in an approach to minimize misleading information and harmful behavior on the platform in the month of August.
These figures were publicly released by the company’s most recent transparency report, which was published in accordance with the new Information Technology Rules 2021. During the month of August, users and the India Grievance Officer lodged around 222 ban appeals, according to the report. This is WhatsApp’s third transparency report published.
WhatsApp in its compliance report says the company end up receiving received 420 user queries in the month of August. There were 222 ban requests, 105 account support inquiries, and 76 product or other support concerns addressed by WhatsApp. Just 41 accounts were responded out of 222 ban appeals, including 17 reports linked with safety.
WhatsApp reported in July that India contributed for 25 percent of all banned accounts worldwide. WhatsApp terminated a total of 3,027,000 accounts between June 16 and July 31. The month before, the Facebook-owned instant messaging platform said in its first transparency report that it banned somewhat about 2 million Indian accounts in accordance with the new IT rule.
Between June 16 and July 31, WhatsApp received 594 complaints and took remedial action with 74 accounts. The messaging platform also received around 345 grievance complaints from May 15 to June 15, after which it banned 63 accounts.
A WhatsApp spokesperson commented in response to the latest transparency report, saying, “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. Our top focus is preventing accounts from sending harmful or unwanted messages at scale.”
According to WhatsApp’s support page, when it receives user complaints through the grievance channel, the messaging service leverages tools and resources to minimize harmful activity on its platform.
WhatsApp on its “Safety in India” webpage has mentioned that it ideally bans roughly 2 million accounts per month that are involved in bulk or automated messaging in order to control the spread of misinformation. It further explains that out of these 2 million accounts, 75% of them have been blocked by WhatsApp thanks to a recent user report.
According to the Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code Rules, 2021, social media companies with more than 5 million Indian users must appoint a chief compliance officer, grievance officer, and nodal contact person all of whom are Indian residents. These platforms must publish a compliance report every month, explaining the details of grievances collected and actions taken towards them, in addition to other responsibilities to comply with the new guidelines.
Although Twitter has yet to publish its compliance report in accordance with the New IT Rules, it has lately appointed a chief compliance officer, a grievance officer, and a nodal contact person, implying that a report will be published soon.