WhatsApp released its first compliance report under the new Mediation Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code or IT Rules 2021 earlier this week. The Government of India announced new IT rules earlier this year and informed all major social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, Google, Instagram, Snapchat etc. One of the guidelines under the new social rules was to prepare a monthly compliance report. WhatsApp, one of the world’s most popular messaging platforms following net IT rules, has released its first compliance report, revealing startling details.
One of the biggest highlights of the report is that the instant messaging platform banned more than 2 million (20 million) WhatsApp accounts in the country between May 15 and June 15. Now the question is why did WhatsApp ban millions of accounts in just a few years? One month duration?
Why did WhatsApp ban your number?
Well, citing the reason behind banning millions of accounts in the country, Facebook-owned messaging platform said it was “due to unauthorized use of automated or bulk messaging”. Simply put, WhatsApp has banned millions of accounts that sent “bulk” messages.
Over the years, Facebook-owned messaging platforms have warned users not to forward verified information to the platform. Over the past few years, WhatsApp has become a common platform where users share all kinds of information with their friends and family members, both verified and unverified. We have seen several instances in the last few years where a fake news spread on the platform creates tension among the people, resulting in fatalities in some situations.
To reduce the spread of verified information on messaging platforms, WhatsApp limited the forward feature to five users at a time last year. This feature was introduced after verified information about coronavirus was circulated on the platform.
The Forward Limit feature has certainly reduced the incidence of fake news coverage, there are still users who are not following the guidelines given by the platform and are not passing the verified information.
Over the years, WhatsApp has introduced a number of features to limit the spread of fake news on the platform. Some of the features include: Forward Limit, Multiple Tag Forwarding and more. The messaging app has partnered with government agencies to launch official chatbats.
So, if WhatsApp has banned your account / phone number, it is because you are deliberately / unknowingly busy spreading verified information among your contacts.
Tips to identify fake news on WhatsApp
– Always verify a forwarded message with official source – be it a website, social Twitter / Facebook account or WhatsApp chatbot.
-You don’t have a reshare message that comes with the “Frequently Forward” tag. In most cases they are not verified.
– Messages seem to be different with grammar / spelling problems, mostly an official message from the authorities will not look like this.