INDIA: WhatsApp, a messaging platform owned by Meta, announced that it took stringent measures to comply with the new IT Rules 2021 in India. In May, the company reported blocking over 65 lakh (6,508,000) accounts in the country, with a remarkable 2,420,700 accounts proactively banned even before receiving any reports from users.
The social media giant, which boasts more than 500 million users in India, has been making substantial efforts to combat misuse and ensure a safer platform for its vast user base. The company’s latest user-safety report revealed that in April, it had already banned a record-breaking over 74 lakh (7,400,000) bad accounts.
During May, WhatsApp received a significant number of 3,912 grievance reports from users in India, including “ban appeals.” Out of these reports, the company took remedial action on 297 occasions. This action could involve either banning an account found to be in violation of the platform’s policies or restoring a previously banned account if it is found to have been wrongfully penalized.
“This user safety report includes information about user complaints WhatsApp has received, the necessary actions it has taken in response, as well as WhatsApp’s own proactive measures to address abuse on our platform,” a WhatsApp spokeswoman said. The company has demonstrated its dedication to protecting user interests by taking preemptive actions to prohibit harmful accounts even before receiving user concerns.
The Ministry of Electronics and IT in India has been working towards establishing a more secure digital environment for citizens, addressing concerns related to content and user safety.
As part of these efforts, the Grievance Appellate Committee (GAC) was formed to review and address appeals from users against decisions made by social media platforms.
The GAC aims to empower millions of Indian social media users by providing them with a platform to voice their grievances and ensuring more accountability and transparency in digital spaces. This move comes as part of a broader effort to strengthen the country’s digital laws and keep Big Tech companies in check.
Furthermore, the Ministry’s recent amendments seek to protect the rights of ‘Digital Nagriks’ (digital citizens) and foster an open, safe, and trusted internet ecosystem. The government’s initiatives signal its commitment to providing users with a secure and responsible digital experience.
As WhatsApp continues to strengthen its efforts to maintain a safe and trustworthy platform, users in India can find recourse through the GAC, thus contributing to a more accountable digital landscape.
With user safety at the forefront of its agenda, WhatsApp remains committed to promoting a positive and secure online environment for its vast user base in the country.