WhatsApp Bans Over 70 Lakh Accounts in India to Comply with IT Rules
In November 2023, WhatsApp, a popular messaging service owned by Meta, took a significant step by banning over 71 lakh accounts in India. This action was part of their commitment to adhere to India’s IT Rules of 2021.
Out of these banned accounts, around 19.54 lakh were proactively removed by WhatsApp without any external reports. The chatting platform is identifying and dealing with potential abuses.
This move comes in the wake of increasing online scams in India, often involving the use of WhatsApp for fraudulent activities. The Indian government, concerned about these scams, has urged companies like WhatsApp to take strict actions.
In response, WhatsApp has implemented an advanced system to monitor and control misuse.
This system works at three levels: during the registration process, throughout messaging activities, and in reaction to reports and negative feedback from users.
If a user reports an account, WhatsApp’s team of analysts examines the case to decide whether to ban the account permanently.
Additionally, WhatsApp has been enhancing its security features. They now offer end-to-end encryption, the option to mute unknown numbers, and a chat lock feature, making it a secure platform for private communication.
In November alone, WhatsApp received 8,841 complaints. The company took action on a few of these reports, while also complying with all eight reports from the Grievance Appellate Committee (GAC), a body set up by the Indian government to address citizens’ concerns on social media platforms.
Furthermore, a significant change is coming for Android WhatsApp users. They will no longer have free backups for their chats on Google Drive. This change means that backups will count towards the user’s Google Drive storage limit. This aligns with how iPhone users’ backups on iCloud already work.
All these measures indicate the Indian government’s strict stance on ensuring citizens’ data privacy and monitoring online activities to protect against scams and fraud.
As a result, social media platforms like WhatsApp are compelled to take such extensive actions, including the banning of a large number of accounts, to maintain a safe and secure online environment.