Social media platform WhatsApp has said that it banned 79.54 lakh accounts in March 1-31. And 14.30 lakh of these accounts were proactively banned before any reports from users.

The declaration is part of its monthly report, under the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021.

The company said it responds to al 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.

“In addition to responding to and actioning on user complaints through the grievance channel, WhatsApp also deploys tools and resources to prevent harmful behaviour on the platform. We are particularly focused on prevention because we believe it is much better to stop harmful activity from happening in the first place than to detect it after harm has occurred,” it said in the report.

Priority channel

The Meta-owned company also said that it is supporting safe elections and has set up a high priority channel with Election Commission of India (ECI) as part of an industry initiative and observes the voluntary code of ethics with a view to assist ECI in conducting free and transparent elections.

“WhatsApp maintains regular engagements with ECI officials to keep them updated on the approach to Indian elections and to discuss methods of working together more effectively. Additionally, political parties are trained ahead of all elections to promote an understanding of the importance of using WhatsApp responsibly,” it noted.

The training cautions party-workers that their accounts could become banned if they send WhatsApp messages to users without prior user-consent, it added.

In February (1-29) also, WhatsApp had banned more than 76 lakh (76.28 lakh) accounts, out of which 14.24 lakh accounts were proactively banned, before any reports from users.

Similarly, in January (1-31) it had banned 67.28 lakh accounts, out of which 13.58 lakh of these accounts were proactively banned, before any reports from users.

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