WhatsApp, the Meta-owned instant messaging platform, announced that it banned 36.77 lakh accounts in India in November, which was a slight decrease from the number banned in the previous month.
The banned accounts included 13.89 lakh accounts that were proactively banned before being reported by users. In December, the number of banned accounts increased to 37.16 lakhs, including 9.9 lakh accounts that were proactively banned.
According to WhatsApp’s India Monthly Report for December, which was published under the Information Technology Rules 2021, 3,677,000 accounts were banned in December and 1,389,000 of these accounts were proactively banned before any reports from users.
The new strict IT rules, which came into effect in 2022, require large digital platforms with over 50 lakh users to publish compliance reports every month, highlighting the details of the complaints received and the actions taken.
In December, the number of appeals from WhatsApp users increased by approximately 70% to 1,607, including appeals to ban 1,459 accounts. This was a significant increase from the 946 complaints received in November.
However, WhatsApp took action on only 166 appeals. The company stated that it responds to all complaints received, excluding duplicates, and that an account is considered “actioned” when it is banned or restored as a result of a complaint.
Aside from addressing and taking action on user complaints through its grievance channel, WhatsApp also employs various tools and resources to automatically detect and prevent harmful behaviour on its platform.