Under the new rules, which went into effect in May, companies must publish a social media compliance report each month describing how many complaints they received from Indian users and what actions they took. International technology companies must also hire managers locally, who can help regulate the content and implement rapid action in response to legal complaints.
The Facebook (FB)
messaging app said more than 95% of the 2 million accounts blocked between May 1
5 and June 15 were banned “due to unauthorized use of automated messaging or mass messaging.”
“These numbers have increased significantly since 2019 because our systems have increased in sophistication,” the company said in a statement Thursday. “Remember that we proactively ban the vast majority of these accounts, without relying on any user reports.”
In 2018, the service began limiting the ability of users around the world to forward messages after viral hoaxes on the platform were accused of a lot of violence from the mob in India. The company blocks an average of 8 million accounts globally per month, it is said in a statement.
The app has over 400 million users in India, which is the largest market, and 2 billion users worldwide.
While WhatsApp complies with some aspects of the new rules, it has sued the Indian government for one of the claims. Indian authorities want companies to track down the “first originator” of messages if asked. The government has said that such requests will only come in connection with serious crime, but WhatsApp is concerned that this move will effectively end any guarantee of users’ privacy by requiring the platform to keep track of all messages.
“Requesting messaging apps to ‘track’ chats is equivalent to asking us to keep a fingerprint of every single message sent on WhatsApp, which would destroy end-to-end encryption and fundamentally undermine people’s right to privacy,” he said. spokesman for the company issued a statement to CNN Business when the lawsuit was filed in May.