In the month of November, WhatsApp blocked 17,59,000 accounts registered with an Indian cell phone. The Meta-owned chat app said in its latest compliance report, issued in January, that it decided to remove accounts using the abuse detection approach, which incorporates feedback from other users and their appeals via the app’s Report feature.
The compliance reports, which are due at the start of each month, are required by Rule4(1)(d) of India’s Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, which went into effect in 2021. In these reports, WhatsApp emphasises two things: complaints received from Indian users via various forms of expressing grievances, such as email and snail mail, and accounts that were “actioned” via WhatsApp’s “prevention and detection mechanisms for breaking Indian laws or WhatsApp’s Terms of Service.”
In November, WhatsApp received 602 reports from users who registered with an Indian cell number. The most frequent user appeals were for account suspensions, with 357 in total. Only 36 out of 357 accounts were banned by WhatsApp. These 36 accounts are included in the overall number of banned accounts of 17,59,000.
Other areas for which reports were received include “Account help,” “Product support,” and “Safety,” among others. According to WhatsApp’s report, no action was taken in response to the petitions in these categories. According to the corporation, customers who have reported relating to “Safety” are advised to use the in-app reporting function, and reports received through this manner are not stored.