WhatsApp blocking 2 million accounts every month for sending bulk messages

Photo: Shutterstock

Facebook-owned WhatsApp is removing at least two million accounts each month for bulk or automated behaviour and over 75 per cent of those without recent user reports.

According to the company, these efforts are particularly important during elections where certain groups may attempt to send messages at scale.

"While there are many actors trying to abuse the free service we provide, we are constantly advancing our anti-abuse operations to keep the platform safe," WhatsApp said in a statement on Thursday.

WhatsApp is banning accounts that send a high volume of messages.

"We're able to detect and ban many accounts before they register a" preventing them from sending a single message. Roughly 20 per cent of account bans happened at registration time," the company informed.

WhatsApp which has over 200 million users in India aims to understand the behavioural cues indicating bulk registrations.

"For example, our systems can detect if a similar phone number has been recently abused or if the computer network used for registration has been associated with suspicious behaviour," it added.

As part of establishing its operations in India, WhatsApp said it has 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.

WhatsApp said it facilitated training for political parties in states that went into elections in 2018.

"We will expand this effort and work with the Election Commission of India in the lead up to the national election this year, said WhatsApp.

WhatsApp recently hired Abhijit Bose to lead India operations who will grow a local team that can further develop relationships with civil society and respond to the government on a timely basis.

"This team will include local legal, policy and business teams that can work with our Indian partners on common goals, such as increasing financial inclusion and digital literacy across India," it added.



Dear Reader,


Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.

We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

Business Standard is now on Telegram.
For insightful reports and views on business, markets, politics and other issues, subscribe to our official Telegram channel