Mobile application WhatsApp has, in its first-ever monthly compliance report announced that, it banned two million accounts with Indian phone numbers, between 15 May and 15 June.
WhatsApp also informed that they received 375 grievances during the same period, pertaining to account support, ban appeal, safety issues, product support, and other support.
Explaining its decision to ban, WhatsApp was quoted by Hindu BusinessLine as saying:
“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.”
WhatsApp, further, said that “abuse detection operates at three stages of an account’s lifestyle”, namely:
In response to negative feedback
“A team of analysts augments these systems to evaluate edge cases and help improve our effectiveness over time,” WhatsApp informed, in its report.
Among the 375 grievances that WhatsApp received in the month-long period, 204 reportedly came as ban appeal. Of this, 63 accounts were auctioned, informed the company.
“We pay close attention to user feedback and engage with specialists in stemming misinformation, promoting cybersecurity, and preserving election integrity,” WhatsApp was further quoted by Hindu BusinessLine as saying.
Meanwhile, WhatsApp had, earlier in May, approached the Delhi High Court on the ground that the new IT Rules would cause WhatsApp to ‘break privacy protections’.
WhatsApp has asked the HC to declare one of the new rules as a violation of privacy rights as per the Constitution of India since it requires social media companies to “identify the originator of information” whenever authorities demand.
While the new laws require WhatsApp to trace the originator of the message, the company says it cannot do that because messages are end-to-end encrypted and to comply with the law, WhatsApp says, it would have to break encryption for receivers, as well as “originators” of messages.