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WhatsApp's first compliance report reveals removal of 2mn accounts

WhatsApps first compliance report reveals removal of 2mn accounts

New Delhi: After filing its maiden monthly grievance redressal report as required under India's new IT norms, Facebook-owned WhatsApp on Thursday said it has banned two million accounts in India alone during the May 15-June 15 period attempting to send harmful or unwanted messages at scale.

In a statement, the company said that more than 95 per cent of such bans are due to the unauthorised use of automated or bulk messaging.

In the report, released in line with the requirements of India's Intermediary Guidelines, 2021, WhatsApp said that user reports received by the platform via the grievance channels are evaluated and responded to.

The messaging app has also shared a breakdown of the grievances it received from various parties between May 15 and June 15, 2021. As per the first intermediary guidelines report, the messaging app received 70 requests for account support and 204 ban appeals, of which the app banned 63 accounts.

"Our top focus is preventing accounts from sending harmful or unwanted messages at scale. We maintain advanced capabilities to identify these accounts sending a high or abnormal rate of messages," the company said.

"Majority of users who reach out to us are either aiming to have their account restored following an action to ban them or reaching out for product or account support," it added.

WhatsApp last week accepted that "the government is the administrator" in its case and informed the Delhi High Court that it will put its privacy policy update "on hold" until the Data Protection Bill came into force.

This is a significant development after the new Information Technology Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw made it clear within minutes of taking charge that the "law of the land is supreme" and no one can afford to disrespect it.

WhatsApp's counsel also accepted that its commitment is "we need to fit in the law".

Facebook, Google and Twitter have already submitted their monthly compliance reports.

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TAGS:WhatsApp IT rules 2021 
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