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WhatsApp banned 71L bad accounts; Meta purged over 23 mn bad content on FB, Insta in India in Nov 2023

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WhatsApp banned 71L bad accounts; Meta purged over 23 mn bad content on FB, Insta in India in Nov 2023
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Silhouettes of laptop users are seen next to a screen projection of Facebook logoREUTERS/Dado Ruvic

Meta-owned WhatsApp banned a record over 71 lakh bad accounts in India in the month of November 2023, in compliance with the new IT Rules 2021, the company said on Monday.

Between November 1-30, the company banned 71,96,000 accounts. About 19,54,000 of these accounts were proactively banned, before any reports from users, WhatsApp said in its monthly compliance report.

The most popular messaging platform, which has over 500 million users in the country, received another record 8,841 complaint reports in November in the country, and the records “actioned” were six.

“Accounts Actioned” denotes reports where WhatsApp took remedial action based on the report and taking action denotes either banning an account or a previously banned account being restored as a result.

“This user-safety report contains details of the user complaints received and the corresponding action taken by WhatsApp, as well as WhatsApp’s own preventive actions to combat abuse on our platform,” according to the company.

In a bid to empower millions of Indian social media users, the Centre recently launched the Grievance Appellate Committee (GAC) which looks into their concerns regarding content and other issues.

The newly-formed panel, a move to strengthen the country’s digital laws to tame the Big Tech companies, will look into appeals by users against decisions of social media platforms.

“We are an industry leader among end-to-end encrypted messaging services in preventing and combating abuse. In addition to our safety features and controls, we employ a team of engineers, data scientists, analysts, researchers, and experts in law enforcement, online safety, and technology developments to oversee these efforts,” said WhatsApp.

Meta complies with IT rules in India

Meta said that it took down over 18.3 million pieces of content across 13 policies for Facebook and over 4.7 million pieces of content across 12 policies for Instagram in India in November 2023.

Between November 1-30 Facebook received 21,149 reports through the Indian grievance mechanism, and said that it provided tools for users to resolve their issues in 10,710 cases.

These include pre-established channels to report content for specific violations, self-remediation flows where they can download their data, avenues to address account hacked issues, etc, Meta said in its monthly report in compliance with the IT (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021.

“Of the other 10,739 reports where specialised review was needed, we reviewed content as per our policies, and took action on 4,538 reports in total. The remaining 6,201 reports were reviewed but may not have been actioned,” Meta added.

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On Instagram, the company received 11,138 reports through the Indian grievance mechanism.

“Of these, we provided tools for users to resolve their issues in 4,209 cases,” it informed.

Of the other 6,929 reports where specialised review was needed, Meta reviewed content and took action on 4,107 reports in total.

The remaining 2,822 reports were reviewed but may not have been actioned.

Under the new IT Rules 2021, big digital and social media platforms, with more than 5 million users, have to publish monthly compliance reports.

“We measure the number of pieces of content (such as posts, photos, videos or comments) we take action for going against our standards. Taking action could include removing a piece of content from Facebook or Instagram or covering photos or videos that may be disturbing to some audiences with a warning,” said Meta.

In the month of October, Meta took down over 33.6 million pieces of content across 13 policies for Facebook and over 3.4 million pieces of content across 12 policies for Instagram.

(With inputs from IANS)

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