Published: Thu, February 07, 2019

WhatsApp Bans 2 Million Fake or Abusive Accounts Each Month

WhatsApp Bans 2 Million Fake or Abusive Accounts Each Month

"WhatsApp cares deeply about creating a space for private messaging online", said Carl Woog, head of communications at WhatsApp during a briefing.

Political parties in India have been "abusing" the WhatsApp messaging service ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, a top executive of the Facebook-owned company said on Wednesday, Reuters reported.

According to Woog, who served as the deputy assistant to the U.S. secretary of defence for communications, the proposed changes are not consistent with strong privacy protections that people across the world are looking for.

WhatsApp introduced a number of changes and limitations last month, which are meant to prevent the spreading of fake news.

He also said that the regulations will require WhatsApp to re-architect its product and that will see it ceasing to exist in its current form.


Without denying the possibility of quitting the India market in case the new regulations come into force, Woog told IANS: "It will not help to speculate what is to come". Congress social media head Divya Spandana said the party does not abuse WhatsApp. "There is a process in place in India to discuss this issue". But it's not just the advanced machine learning system that's capable of banning suspicious accounts, as WhatsApp claims that 25% of the 2 million accounts that are banned each month are based on human intervention. WhatsApp software engineer Matt Jones said that the company can ban 20% of those accounts when they register.

In response to the violence, as well as the increased scrutiny of broadcast-oriented social media services such as Facebook and Twitter, WhatsApp has sought to present itself as a private messaging app designed for communication between individuals or small groups.

India will hold the largest elections in history starting in April, providing an unprecedented test of WhatsApp's defence against bulk messaging, which the company blames for the majority of problematic content.

Addressing one of the major demands from the government, WhatsApp said, "As part of establishing our operations in India, we have identified a Grievance Officer who can be contacted directly if a user has a concern about their WhatsApp experience and is unable to report it through other channels".

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