WhatsApp has had a couple of tough years as it has been in the firing line over failure to stop the spread of misinformation and rising privacy concerns. This has forced the Facebook-owned platform to take strict steps against people indulging in wrongdoing. In a move that aims to improve the health of its platform, WhatsApp has decided to take legal actions against those who are exploiting the platform by ways of unauthorised usage of the app, that has over 1.5 billion users. This includes sending automated or bulk messages or non-personal use of the app.
Explaining the move, WhatsApp said that the platform is not intended to circulate bulk or automated messaging, both of which have always been a violation of their Terms of Service.
“WhatsApp was designed for private messaging, so we have taken action globally to prevent bulk messaging and enforce limits on how WhatsApp accounts that misuse WhatsApp can be used. We have also stepped up our ability to identify abuse, which helps us ban 2 million accounts globally per month,” TechCrunch reported a WhatsApp spokesperson as saying.
“Beginning on December 7, WhatsApp will take legal action against those we determine are engaged in or assisting others in abuse that violates our Terms of Service, such as automated or bulk messaging or non-personal use, even if that determination is based on information solely available to us off our platform,” the company wrote in a post on Wednesday.
The platform has been very active this year and earlier, had introduced a Machine Learning (ML)-based system to detect and remove users who behaved inappropriately on the app. WhatsApp had said that it was able to assess the past dealings with problematic behaviours to ban 20 per cent of bad accounts at the time of registration itself.
To enhance privacy of the users, WhatsApp had even introduced a new privacy setting and invite system to help users decide who can add them to groups. “To enable it, go to Settings in your app, then tap Account > Privacy > Groups and select one of three options: “Nobody”, “My Contacts”, or “Everyone”. “Nobody” means you’ll have to approve joining every group to which you’re invited, and “My Contacts” means only users you have in your address book can add you to groups,” the platform had said in a blog post.