The WhatsApp messaging app, which Meta owns, often bans or had banned accounts in order to stop the spread of hate speech, bots, fake news, and misinformation. Every month, WhatsApp publishes a report on user safety that includes information on the kinds of accounts that have been prohibited and how many have been banned. Over 23 lakh, or 2.3 million, Indian accounts were banned by the platform in August 2022. What’s startling is that WhatsApp has been suspending 20 lakh accounts each month for a while. The spread of false messages through WhatsApp groups is still an issue in India despite the enormous number of blocked accounts.
WhatsApp has now formally set a few guidelines that users must abide by to avoid being banned. Moreover, WhatsApp acknowledged that occasionally accounts are mistakenly banned. “While well-intentioned, you might risk your account getting banned if it involves activity that violates the company’s Terms of Service, for example, if it involves spam, scams, or puts WhatsApp users’ safety at risk,” said WhatsApp in an official statement.
WhatsApp uses spam detection technologies to identify accounts exhibiting unusual behaviour and take appropriate measures to stop spam. Therefore, even if you forward an excessive number of “Good Morning” messages, WhatsApp may still ban your account.
Officially, WhatsApp has provided some advice on avoiding account bans.
How to not get banned by WhatsApp?
- Don’t forward messages blindly
To encourage users to think twice before sharing, WhatsApp has established a label for all forwarded messages and placed a restriction on the number of times you can deliver messages. Don’t forward a message if you are unsure of its authenticity or don’t know who sent it.
- Avoid automated or bulk messages
Don’t use WhatsApp to send out mass messages, auto-messages, or auto-dials. WhatsApp detects and bans accounts that send unwelcome automated messages by using machine learning technologies as well as feedback from users.
- Avoid over-using broadcast lists
Users can only receive messages sent using a broadcast list if they have added your phone number to their contact list. People may complain about your broadcast messages if you use them frequently, and WhatsApp will ban accounts that have received numerous reports.
- Ask for permission from the person before adding them to a group
Before including contacts in a group, ask for their consent. Respect someone’s decision if they decide to leave a group after you add them.
You should delete a contact from your address book and refrain from messaging them further if they urge you to stop.
- Communicate with known contacts
Send messages only to people who have gotten in touch with you via WhatsApp or asked you to do so.
- Don’t Violate WhatsApp’s Terms of Services
Remember that breaking WhatsApp’s Terms of Service, which include, among other things, publishing falsehoods and engaging in illegal, defamatory, intimidating, or harassing behaviour, is the basis for an account ban.