WhatsApp has banned a record-breaking 71 lakh Indian accounts in November 2023.

This record was disclosed in India’s monthly report under the IT Rules, 2021, which was published in January 2024, at the start of the new year. In November, WhatsApp banned 71,96,000 accounts. Nor were these bans confined to one month: in October, they banned approximately 71 lakh accounts; in September, they banned 75 lakh accounts; in August, they banned 74 lakh accounts.

Why?

According to the instant messaging platform, “We ban accounts if we believe the account activity violates our Terms of Service, for example if it involves spam, scams, or if it puts WhatsApp users’ safety under risk”.

This often meant taking pre-emptive action. For example, in November, around 19,54,000 of the lost accounts were proactively banned before WhatsApp received any specific complaints or reports from users.

The identification of Indian WhatsApp users is based on the +91 phone number. In the same month, WhatsApp received 8,841 grievances, which led to them taking action on six reported cases. The platform’s user safety report outlines user complaints, the corresponding action taken, and WhatsApp’s proactive measures to counter abuse and potential abuse. They employ several resources and specialized tools to prevent and counteract harmful behavior, and upon receiving user reports, a team of analysts specially evaluate each case to determine the necessary course of action.

Another noteworthy addition to WhatsApp is a visual feature reminiscent of Instagram’s Stories, aimed towards enhancing user interaction with status updates, which was initially disclosed by WABetaInfo testers.