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WhatsApp Removing 2 Million Accounts Every Month For Bulk Behaviour

"This team will include local legal, policy and business teams that can work with our Indian partners on common goals, such as increasing financial inclusion and digital literacy across India," it added

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WhatsApp on a smartphone device. Pixabay

Facebook-owned WhatsApp is removing at least two million accounts each month for bulk or automated behaviour and over 75 per cent of those without recent user reports.

According to the company, these efforts are particularly important during elections where certain groups may attempt to send messages at scale.

“While there are many actors trying to abuse the free service we provide, we are constantly advancing our anti-abuse operations to keep the platform safe,” WhatsApp said in a statement on Thursday.

WhatsApp is banning accounts that send a high volume of messages.

“We’re able to detect and ban many accounts before they register a” preventing them from sending a single message. Roughly 20 per cent of account bans happened at registration time,” the company informed.

WhatsApp which has over 200 million users in India aims to understand the behavioural cues indicating bulk registrations.

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WhatsApp on a smartphone device.

“For example, our systems can detect if a similar phone number has been recently abused or if the computer network used for registration has been associated with suspicious behaviour,” it added.

As part of establishing its operations in India, WhatsApp said it has identified a Grievance Officer who can be contacted directly if a user has a concern about their WhatsApp experience and is unable to report it through other channels.

WhatsApp said it facilitated training for political parties in states that went into elections in 2018.

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“We will expand this effort and work with the Election Commission of India in the lead up to the national election this year, said WhatsApp.

WhatsApp recently hired Abhijit Bose to lead India operations who will grow a local team that can further develop relationships with civil society and respond to the government on a timely basis.

“This team will include local legal, policy and business teams that can work with our Indian partners on common goals, such as increasing financial inclusion and digital literacy across India,” it added. (IANS)

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WhatsApp Maintains its Stand on India’s Message Traceability Call

Without this feature, Woog explained, WhatsApp will be a completely new product

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WhatsApp on a smartphone device.

Facebook-owned WhatsApp on Tuesday said it has nothing fresh to add to the Indian government’s demand to trace the origin of messages on its platform as it “undermined the privacy of the people”.

Reacting to an ET story that claimed government officials have asked WhatsApp to digitally fingerprint every message, without breaking its end-to-end encryption, so that the origin of an inauthentic or fake message can be traced, WhatsApp told IANS: “We have nothing new to add to what we have previously said on this.”

Last December, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology proposed changes to Section 79 of the Information Technology (IT) Act, 2000.

The proposed regulations require a company to “enable tracing out of originators of information on its platform as required by legally authorised government agencies”.

The end-to-end encryption feature in WhatsApp makes it difficult for law enforcement authorities to find out the culprit behind a misinformation campaign.

The mobile messaging platform has already called the proposed changes “overbroad”, saying it undermined the privacy of the people.

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FILE – The WhatsApp app logo is seen on a smartphone in this picture illustration. VOA

“Attributing messages on WhatsApp would undermine the end-to-end encryption, and its private nature, leading to possibilities of being misused. Our focus is to improve WhatsApp, and working closely with others in society to help keep people safe,” a company spokesperson had earlier said.

A top company executive in February stressed that some of the proposed government regulations for social media companies operating in India are threatening the very existence of WhatsApp in its current form.

“Of the proposed regulations, the one which concerns us the most is the emphasis on traceability of messages,” Carl Woog, WhatsApp’s Head of Communications, had told IANS.

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The Facebook-owned messaging app offers end-to-end encryption by default which means only the sender and the recipient can see the texts in circulation – not even WhatsApp.

Without this feature, Woog explained, WhatsApp will be a completely new product.

With over 200 million monthly active users, India is WhatsApp’s biggest market in the world. Globally, the platform has over 1.5 billion users. (IANS)