September 26, 2023

WhatsApp Bans Over 6.5 Million Accounts in India in May Under New IT Rules

WhatsApp, a subsidiary of Meta (formerly Facebook), has announced that it took action against more than 6.5 million problematic accounts in India during May, in accordance with the country’s IT Rules 2021. Among these accounts, 2.4 million were proactively banned even before receiving user reports. This follows a previous record-breaking ban of 7.4 million accounts in April. With over 500 million users, WhatsApp remains the most popular messaging platform in India.

Throughout May, WhatsApp received a total of 3,912 grievance reports from Indian users. These reports included appeals for unbanning accounts. Out of the received reports, 297 cases resulted in remedial actions taken by WhatsApp based on the user complaints. The company’s user-safety report aims to provide transparency by outlining both the grievances reported by users and the corresponding actions taken by WhatsApp to combat abuse and ensure user safety on its platform.

To address the concerns of Indian social media users, the government recently established the Grievance Appellate Committee (GAC). The committee’s primary objective is to address user appeals against content decisions made by social media platforms and other related issues. This initiative is part of the government’s broader efforts to strengthen digital regulations and ensure accountability of Big Tech companies operating in India.

The Ministry of Electronics and IT has introduced amendments to safeguard the rights of Indian citizens in the digital realm. These measures reflect the government’s commitment to enhancing user safety, promoting responsible digital practices, and establishing mechanisms for addressing grievances related to content moderation on social media platforms.

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