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WhatsApp Policy Violations Led to Over 71 Lakh Account Bans in India in November

WhatsApp says it acted on 6 grievances from users in the country and 8 orders from the Grievance Appellate tribunal received during November 2023.

WhatsApp Policy Violations Led to Over 71 Lakh Account Bans in India in November

Photo Credit: Reuters

WhatsApp receives grievances from users via post and emails sent to the India Grievance Officer

  • WhatsApp says it took action against over 19 lakh accounts "proactively"
  • The messaging platform acted on a few grievance reports from Indian users
  • WhatsApp also acted on 8 orders from the Grievance Appellate Commitee

WhatsApp banned more than 71 lakh accounts in India in November last year, the company revealed in its latest monthly report. The messaging platform owned by Facebook parent Meta said that it banned over 19 lakh accounts in India "proactively", which means the company took action on these accounts before it received any user reports of policy violations. WhatsApp also acted on a handful of over 8,000 grievances received from users in the same month, according to the firm's report.

In its latest monthly report published in compliance with the Information Technology
(Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules (2021
) WhatsApp says that it banned 71,96,000 accounts between November 1 and November 30 last year. These were accounts that were registered from a phone number with the +91 international prefix, according to the messaging platform.

WhatsApp says that it banned 19,54,000 of more than 71 lakh accounts last November proactively — users didn't have to report these accounts for violating the company's policies. While WhatsApp allows users to report accounts, the platform also employs on-platform abuse detection systems that can proactively detect policy violations.

As per existing regulations, WhatsApp receives grievances from users via emails sent to grievance_officer_wa@support.whatsapp.com and via mail sent to the India Grievance Officer via post. The company says that reports related to account assistance, help with accessing features, service feedback, denied requests related to banned accounts, or accounts that did not violate the company's terms and the laws of India.

In order to comply with the IT Rules (2021), WhatsApp said it acted on 6 requests — one related to ban appeals and the others related to miscellaneous support queries — received as grievances by the company's Grievance Officer. In November 2023, the company received 8,841 grievances and complied with 8 orders received from the Grievance Appellate Committee during the same month.

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David Delima
As a writer on technology with Gadgets 360, David Delima is interested in open-source technology, cybersecurity, consumer privacy, and loves to read and write about how the Internet works. David can be contacted via email at DavidD@ndtv.com, on Twitter at @DxDavey, and Mastodon at mstdn.social/@delima. More
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