Meta-owned WhatsApp suspended over 19,000 Indian accounts in May based on complaints received from users through its complaints channel and through its own violation prevention and detection mechanism, according to the latest monthly report published by the messaging platform was published.
The new IT rules that came into force last year oblige large digital platforms (with over 50,000 users) to publish compliance reports every month detailing the complaints received and the actions taken.
“As per the latest monthly report, WhatsApp suspended over 1.9 million accounts in May,” a WhatsApp spokesman said.
The user security report details the user complaints received and WhatsApp’s response to it, as well as its own preventative measures to combat abuse on the platform, the spokesperson added.
An Indian account is identified by the phone number prefix +91.
According to the report published on Friday, between May 1 and May 31, 2022, 19.10.000 Indian accounts were suspended from WhatsApp using the “abuse detection approach, which also includes measures to encourage negative feedback from users…” .
In comparison, the messaging platform had over 16,000 accounts of Indian users suspended in April and 18.05.000 such accounts in March.
“Over the years, we have consistently invested in artificial intelligence and other cutting-edge technologies, data scientists and experts, and processes to protect our users on our platform,” the spokesperson continued.
As of May 2022, up to 528 complaint reports were received and “action” was taken against 24 accounts. Of the total reports received, 303 were for “Appealing Bans,” while others were in the Account Support, Product Support, and Security categories, among others.
“We respond to all complaints received, except in cases where a complaint is deemed to be a duplicate of a previous ticket. An account will be “processed” when an account is suspended or a previously suspended account is reinstated as a result of a complaint. “, says the report.
The government is in the process of finalizing new social media rules that propose to provide users with a grievance mechanism against arbitrary content moderation, inaction or takedown decisions by big tech companies.
The IT ministry last month circulated draft rules proposing a government panel to hear user complaints against inaction on submitted complaints or against content-related decisions by social media platform complaints officers.
Currently, “there is no appeal mechanism through intermediaries, nor any credible self-regulatory mechanism,” the ministry said.
Major social media companies have in the past drawn criticism for hate speech, misinformation and fake news circulating on their platforms. Concerns have also been raised that digital platforms are indiscriminately pulling down content and de-platforming users. The government announced IT rules last year to make digital intermediaries more accountable and responsible for content hosted on their platforms.