WhatsApp blocks two million accounts in a single month

WhatsApp said it blocked more than two million accounts in India in May and June for violating the rules.

The service said that 95% of these users were blocked in India for violating the limits on the number of times messages are forwarded.

The submissions were made by WhatsApp in the first monthly compliance report under India’s controversial new IT rules.

India is the largest market for WhatsApp with around 400 million users.

The Facebook-owned messaging service said its “most important focus” is to prevent accounts in India from sending harmful or spam messages.

Using advanced machine learning technology, WhatsApp reportedly bans close to eight million accounts worldwide every month.

WhatsApp blocks two million accounts in a single month:

The service said that two million accounts in India that send messages at a “high and abnormal rate” were banned between May 15 and June 15 in India alone.

The Facebook-owned app often becomes the focus of controversy over the spread of misinformation and fake news in India.

Such fake news and scams are delivered to tens of thousands of users within hours and are nearly impossible to counter.

Mass circulated messages and videos have encouraged mob violence in India in the past, and even led to deaths.

In addition to responding to user complaints, WhatsApp said it uses its own tools to prevent abuse on the platform.

It said it relied on “behavioral signals” from user accounts or available “unencrypted information”, profile and group photos and descriptions to identify potential criminals.

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WhatsApp’s posts come at a time when tech companies are engaged in an intense battle with the Indian government over new IT rules.

The guidelines, announced in February and enacted in May, aim to regulate content on social media and streaming platforms and have raised serious concerns about freedom of expression and user privacy.

Critics say they have given government and law enforcement authority to remove a wide variety of content from the internet. But the government claims the rules are meant to prevent abuse and misinformation.

Stay tuned to ReportingHour for more updates

News via@ BBC

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