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WhatsApp banned more than 20 lakh Indian accounts during August, while the popular messaging platform received 420 grievance reports during the month, according to its monthly compliance report.

The latest report released on Tuesday showed that the Facebook-owned messaging application banned 20,70,000 Indian accounts during August. An Indian account is identified via a +91 code before the phone number, it added.

Previously, WhatsApp had stated that more than 95 per cent of bans are due to the unauthorised use of automated or bulk messaging (spam). The global average number of accounts that WhatsApp bans to prevent abuse on its platform is around 8 million accounts per month.

WhatsApp, in monthly compliance report for August, said it received 420 user reports spanning across account support (105), ban appeal (222), other support (34), product support (42) and safety (17) during August. During this period, 41 accounts were “actioned", the report further added.

WhatsApp explained that “Accounts Actioned" denotes reports where it took remedial action based on the report. Taking action denotes either banning an account or a previously banned account being restored as a result of the complaint.

Also, reports may have been reviewed but not included as “Actioned" for many reasons, including the user needing assistance to access their account or to use some features, user-requested restoration of a banned account and the request is denied, or if the reported account does not violate the laws of India or WhatsApp's Terms of Service.

Over 30 lakh Indian accounts were banned by WhatsApp, while 594 grievance reports were received by the messaging platform between June 16 and July 31.

The new IT rules - which came into effect on May 26 - require large digital platforms (with over 5 million users) to publish compliance reports every month, mentioning the details of complaints received and action taken.

Previously, WhatsApp had emphasised that being an end-to-end encrypted platform, it has no visibility into the content of any messages. Besides the behavioural signals from accounts, it relies on available unencrypted information, including user reports, profile photos, group photos and descriptions as well as advanced AI tools and resources to detect and prevent abuse on its platform, it had said.

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