Popular messaging platform WhatsApp today released a white paper to address the issue of messaging in bulk and automated behaviour ahead of the Lok Sabha general election which is scheduled to take place in May later this year.
WhatsApp stated that the platform banned over 2 million accounts per month over the past three months. More than 75 percent of the accounts banned were blocked off with the need of a user reporting the account, while another 20 percent were caught and blocked at the time of registration. The white paper also discloses that approximately 90 percent of the messages sent on WhatsApp in India are from one person to another and that a major chunk of groups has less than 10 members each.
The messaging service added that over time, the entity has made a number of significant changes to the platform to address the issue of misinformation and curb bulk messaging which plays a major role in the process of campaigning for elections.
As per a report by Indian Express, the Head of Communication at WhatsApp, Carl Woog, also said at a briefing, “We have engaged with political parties to tell them that we are not a broadcast platform and will block automated bulk behaviour irrespective of the nature of the account. WhatsApp cares deeply about creating a space for private messaging online.”
However, WhatsApp also admitted that the platform is often targeted by accounts that are operated by emulators or machines with an intention to spam users. To deal with this, the company has built detection mechanisms for such automated accounts. For instance, WhatsApp can identify accounts that continuously send messages without triggering the typing indicator.