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Meta-owned WhatsApp bans over 76 lakh accounts in India for harmful behaviour

Sumit Vishwakarma
New Update

Meta-owned messaging app WhatsApp has banned over 7.6 million accounts in India in February last year. The action is part of the platform's commitment to comply with the (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021.

The company said it aims to create a safer environment for its users by proactively identifying and eliminating sources of abuse.

Proactive measures and user reports

WhatsApp revealed that a substantial portion of the bans, specifically 1,424,000 accounts, were executed before any reports from users, showcasing the platform's proactive stance against potential abuse.


Despite receiving a record 16,618 complaint reports in February, only 22 of these led to accounts being actioned. The term "accounts actioned" refers to WhatsApp taking remedial action on a complaint, which could involve banning an account or restoring one previously banned.

"Accounts Actioned" refers to instances where WhatsApp took remedial measures based on user reports. Such actions involve either banning an account or reinstating a previously banned one. We respond to all grievances received except in cases where a grievance is deemed to be a duplicate of a previous ticket. An account is ‘actioned’ when an account is banned or a previously banned account is restored as a result of a complaint, the company said.

"We address all grievances received unless they are deemed duplicates of previous tickets. An account is 'actioned' when it is either banned or a previously banned account is restored due to a complaint," the company explained.

Continuous efforts to enhance safety

The company has emphasized that it is dedicated to safety by implementing robust safety features and assembling a specialized team. This team includes engineers, data scientists, analysts, researchers, and experts in various fields, such as law enforcement and online safety, tasked with managing and improving the platform's safety mechanisms.

WhatsApp's approach to abuse detection is comprehensive, spanning three stages of an account's lifecycle: at registration, during messaging, and in response to negative feedback. This meticulous process underscores the platform's commitment to preventing abuse before it happens and responding swiftly to any reported incidents.

Aligning with IT Rules 2021

This latest report underscores WhatsApp's ongoing efforts to align with the IT Rules 2021 and safeguard its user base, which exceeds 500 million in India. By taking decisive actions against accounts that violate its terms of service, WhatsApp continues to reinforce its position as a safe and reliable platform for communication.