WhatsApp recently announced that it has banned over 20 lakh accounts in India from using its services in the month of October 2021. It had earlier banned over 30.27 lakh Indian accounts for violating its terms of service. As mandated by the new IT rules in India-Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021- WhatsApp publishes monthly reports on what action it takes in response to grievances received from WhatsApp users in India. The Meta-owned messaging app has the highest user base in India and also WhatsApp happens to be the largest messaging app in the country- more popular than SMS.
After WhatsApp became a major platform for the spread of misinformation and fake news in India leading to several law and order incidents including riots, the platform has taken several steps to prevent its misuse. These include steps like promoting users to report issues and also taking measures to alert people about possible fake news and forwarded spam messages.
While WhatsApp messages are end-to-end encrypted, it doesn’t mean users can get away with anything as WhatsApp keeps track of several meta data. WhatsApp, on its official website, clearly states that it will ban accounts if they find any user violating its “Terms of Service.”
As per WhatsApp’s “Terms of Service”, doing these 8 things may trigger the platform to ban your account. Also, for certain offences, WhatsApp may even provide user’s meta data to the police for legal action including arrests.
1. WhatsApp will ban you if you impersonate someone and a create a fake account of another person
WhatsApp has clear guidelines against impersonation. It states that WhatsApp accounts will be banned if it’s found that you have created an account for someone else and “impersonated someone".
2. If someone is not on your contact list and if you send too many messages to that person then WhatsApp may ban you
If you misuse the platform and spam people who are not in your contact list then WhatsApp will ban the account. WhatsApp will take action if you “involve sending illegal or impermissible communications such as bulk messaging, auto-messaging, auto-dialing, and the like.”
3. WhatsApp may ban you if you use third-party apps like WhatsApp Delta, GBWhatsApp, WhatsApp Plus, etc
Always use the official WhatsApp app to communicate. Using third-party apps like WhatsApp Delta, GBWhatsApp, WhatsApp Plus, etc may get you banned from WhatsApp forever. WhatsApp doesn’t permit users to communicate over such apps due to privacy concerns.
4. If you get blocked by too many users then WhatsApp may ban you
If a lot of users block you on WhatsApp then WhatsApp may ban you, irrespective of the fact these people are on your contact list or not. WhatsApp may consider your account as a source of spam messages or fake news if too many users block you.
5. If too many people report against your WhatsApp account then WhatsApp may ban you
If there are a lot of complaints against your WhatsApp account and too many users report against the account then the same may get banned by WhatsApp.
6. WhatsApp will ban you if you send malware or phishing links to users
If you send malware in the form of APK files on Android phones or forward dangerous phishing links to users then WhatsApp may intervene and ban your account.
7. Don’t send porn clips, threat or defamatory messages on WhatsApp
WhatsApp clearly states that users will get banned for sending “illegal, obscene, defamatory, threatening, intimidating, harassing, hateful messages". Also, sending porn clips on WhatsApp is not allowed.
8. Don’t send fake messages or videos that promote violence on WhatsApp
WhatsApp clearly warns people to stay away from using its platform to harass people or spread hate messages “such as promoting violent crimes, endangering or exploiting children or others, or coordinating harm.”