More than 20 Lakh WhatsApp accounts were suspended between May 15 and June 15 in India to prevent online abuse and keep users safe, Facebook’s instant messaging platform announced on Thursday in its monthly Compliance report.
The report, mandated by the country’s new IT rules, must list the details of the actions taken by social networks and communication platforms such as WhatsApp and Twitter.
“We systematically invest in technology, people and processes to keep our users safe and secure. Our prime focus is preventing accounts from sending harmful or unwanted messages at scale. We tend to maintain advanced capabilities to identify these accounts sending a high or abnormal rate of messages and suspended two million accounts in India alone from May 15 – June 15 trying this kind of abuse,” WhatsApp said.
“WhatsApp uses tools and resources to prevent malicious behaviour on the platform. We are particularly focused on prevention because we believe that it is much better to stop harmful activity in the first place than to detect it after it has been damaged.
Abuse detection works in three phases of an account’s lifestyle: during registration, during messages, and in response to negative comments, we receive in the form of reports and user blocks. A team of analysts is expanding these systems to assess case benefits and help. Improve our effectiveness over time ” added WhatsApp.
Though the report marked WhatsApp’s agreement with conditions listed within the new IT rules, the company has filed a legal complaint in Delhi against the Indian government, seeking to block rules that came into action last month, that experts say would compel the firm to interrupt privacy protections.
The proceedings ask the Delhi high court to declare one of the rules a violation of privacy rights in India’s constitution since it needs social media companies to identify the “first originator of information” when authorities demand it.
WhatsApp, which has nearly 40 million users in India, announced that it “will still work with the Indian government on practical solutions aimed toward keeping people safe, including responding to valid legal requests for information made available to us. Requiring messaging apps to ‘track’ chats is tantamount to asking them to keep a fingerprint of every message sent over WhatsApp, breaking end-to-end encryption and fundamentally undermining people’s right to privacy”, told WhatsApp.
The lawsuit came amid clashes between Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government and technology giants like Facebook, Google and Twitter in one of their key markets.
The government has asked companies to remove the misinformation about the COVID19 pandemic ravaging India, as well as criticism of the government’s response to the crisis and protests from farmers.
The new Intermediary Guidelines and Code of Ethics for Digital Media, unveiled in February, require major social media companies to appoint Indian nationals to key compliance roles, remove content within 36 hours of a legal order, and one Establish mechanism to respond to complaints.
Corporations can lose protection from legal proceedings and criminal prosecution if they fail to abide by them, as evidenced by ongoing tension between the government and Twitter, which has repeatedly asked for extensions to terms such as the appointment of India-based compliance officers to meet.