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WhatsApp banned 23.28 lakh Indian accounts in August

WhatsApp banned 23.28 lakh Indian accounts in August

New Delhi: The Meta-owned messaging platform WhatsApp said on Saturday that it banned over 23.28 lakh Indian accounts in August. More than 10 lakh were taken down even before users reported them, PTI reported.

However, the latest count is lower than July's when more than 23.87 lakh Indian accounts were banned.

WhatsApp's monthly compliance report stated, "Between 1 August, 2022 and 31 August, 2022, 2,328,000 WhatsApp accounts were banned. 1,008,000 of these accounts were proactively banned, before any reports from users."

In June, the count of Indian accounts banned by WhatsApp was 22 lakh, and it was done on the basis of complaints received via its grievance redressal channel and through its own mechanism to detect violations. Earlier, 19 lakh such accounts were banned by WhatsApp in May, 16 lakh accounts in April, and 18.05 lakh in March.

The Union government introduced tougher IT rules last year, and it has mandated large digital platforms (with over 50 lakh users) to publish compliance reports every month. The report must include the details of complaints received and action taken, PTI reports.

Social media platforms had gathered widespread criticism for not screening misinformation and fake news earlier.

The government is in the midst of formulating new social media norms that propose to give users a grievance appeal mechanism against arbitrary content moderation, inaction, or takedown decisions of big tech companies.

According to the latest report, as many as 598 grievance reports were received, and 19 accounts were "actioned" between August 1 and August 31, 2022. Out of those got reported, 449 pertained to 'ban appeal' while others were in the categories of account support, product support and safety, among others

WhatsApp's report said, "We respond to all grievances received except in cases where a grievance is deemed to be a duplicate of a previous ticket. An account is 'actioned' when an account is banned, or a previously banned account is restored, as a result of a complaint."

"We will continue with the transparency to our work and include information about our efforts in future reports," the platform added.

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