WhatsApp said it banned 45.97 lakh Indian accounts in February for violating its guidelines. In its India Monthly Report under the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021, the Meta-owned platform listed the accounts banned in the month of February. It is more than 29.18 lakh accounts banned in the month of January.
According to the IT rules, digital platforms with more than five million users have to publish compliance reports every month, in which they have to mention details of the complaints received and action taken.
WhatsApp received over 2,804 grievance reports and it actioned 504 accounts during February 2023. Of the total reports received, 2,548 pertained to ‘ban appeal’ while others were in the categories of account support, product support and safety, among others.
In recent times, social media platforms including WhatsApp have faced criticism over hate speech, fake news and other misinformation circulating on them. Also, there has been outcry by some quarters from time to time over the digital platforms’ arbitrary stand over pulling down hate content and misinformation and banning such users.
The Centre has launched the Grievance Appellate Committee which helps the users to appeal against the decisions by social media platforms.