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Business News/ Technology / News/  WhatsApp tightens security, bans 22.3 million accounts in India in Q1 2024

WhatsApp tightens security, bans 22.3 million accounts in India in Q1 2024

WhatsApp banned 22,310,000 accounts in India during the first quarter of 2024, nearly double the bans in 2023, indicating rising online scams and user safety concerns. The platform's bans were based on user grievances, violations of laws and terms of service.

For representation purposes only. (MINT_PRINT)Premium
For representation purposes only. (MINT_PRINT)

WhatsApp took action against a record 22,310,000 accounts in India during the first quarter of 2024, almost doubling the number of bans compared to the same period in 2023. This surge in bans points to the escalating challenge of online scams and user safety issues in India.

The messaging platform based its bans on user complaints submitted through its grievance processes, accounts identified for breaking Indian laws or WhatsApp's Terms of Service via their prevention and detection systems, and directives issued by the Grievance Appellate Committee (GAC).

As per WhatsApp, the bans were implemented in line with Rule 4(1)(d) and Rule 3A(7) of the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021.

The monthly report from WhatsApp for January, February, and March 2024 indicated a steady increase in the number of banned accounts during the first quarter. In January, WhatsApp removed 6,728,000 accounts, with 1,358,000 of those being proactively banned, meaning they were shut down before any user complaints were made.

During February, the count of banned accounts surged to 7,628,000, with 1,424,000 accounts proactively banned. This trend persisted into March, where 7,954,000 accounts were banned, including 1,430,000 proactively banned. The continual rise in bans and proactive steps taken throughout the quarter indicates WhatsApp's heightened efforts to address misuse.

WhatsApp indicated that these accounts were banned for violating its platform policies and compromising user privacy through activities such as scams and spam. The spike in banned accounts underscores the extensive use of the platform for malicious purposes, especially in India, which has over 530 million monthly active users—the most of any country. 

The Meta-owned instant messaging platform advises users to familiarize themselves with its "Acceptable Use of Our Services" guidelines. It also stresses the need for account security and encourages users to report any unauthorized access without delay.



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Published: 03 May 2024, 03:21 PM IST
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