India : 2 million users banned by WhatsApp in first compliance report
WhatsApp has said it blocked over two million accounts in India in May and June for violating rules. The service said 95% of these users were blocked for violating the limits of the number of times messages can be forwarded in India. The submissions were made by WhatsApp in its first monthly compliance report under India’s controversial new IT rules.
India is WhatsApp’s largest market with about 400 million users. The Facebook-owned messaging service said its “top focus” has been to prevent accounts in India from sending harmful or unwanted messages at scale. More than 95% of these bans are because of unauthorized use of automated or bulk messaging, the company said on Thursday. The compliance report will be published every 30-45 days from now on.
“We are particularly focused on prevention because we believe it is much better to stop harmful activity from happening in the first place than to detect it after harm has occurred. The abuse detection operates at three stages of an account’s lifestyle: at registration; during messaging; and in response to negative feedback, which we receive in the form of user reports and blocks,” WhatsApp said in its report.
The company has challenged the traceability clause of the social media and intermediary guidelines, which also mandate it to publish a monthly grievance compliance report. This is the first such report WhatsApp has published for India. WhatsApp is now the fourth company after Google, Facebook and Twitter to publish the report and appoint officers in keeping with the new guidelines.