WhatsApp banned over 2 million accounts in the month of August to curb abuse and prevent harmful behaviour on the platform. The latest transparency report from WhatsApp, published to comply with the new Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules 2021, reveals that it banned a total 20,70,000 accounts in one month. The report also reveals that a total of 222 ban appeals were made by users and the India Grievance Officer during the mentioned timeframe and 41 accounts were ‘actioned’.
In its third transparency report, WhatsApp confirmed that a total of 420 user queries were received in the month of August. Out of this, 222 were ban appeals, 105 were queries regarding account support, and 76 reports were received by WhatsApp regarding product and other support. There were 17 reports received by WhatsApp regarding safety as well. As mentioned, out of the 222 ban appeals received by users and the India Grievance Officer, only 41 accounts were acted upon.
In addition to responding to user complaints, WhatsApp also has its own tools to prevent harmful behaviour on the platform. These tools detect abuse at three stages of an account’s lifestyle — at registration, during messaging, and in response to negative feedback, which it receives in the form of user reports and blocks.
In July, WhatsApp added that India alone accounts for 25 percent of all the accounts banned in the world. It shared that the global average is about 8 million accounts banned per month, which goes to mean that bans in India (most of which were for bulk messaging or spam) account for roughly a fourth of all the bans in the world.