WhatsApp is the top messaging app with a user base of more than 1.5 billion. This huge user base has its advantages but at the same time, the Facebook-owned messaging platform has been abused by companies and individuals. They have taken advantage of the lack of policies to spam users with unsolicited messages.
WhatsApp has had enough and has decided to take legal action against accounts being used for sending bulk messages, in violation of its service terms. From December this year, the messaging platform will start taking legal action against individuals and companies sending out bulk messages.
If we look at the statistics, the app is being used to send more than 65 billion messages over the 1.5 billion people connected. Most of these are spam messages which not only violates the service terms but are also a way to invade privacy by handing over information to cybercriminals.
WhatsApp’s Course of Action
WhatsApp will begin a crackdown from December this year and will target users who spread, “automated or bulk messaging” and “non-personal use” of the platform.
This will be done via machine learning in combination with off-platform evidence. This means, WhatsApp will keep an eye on online public spaces and will monitor users and their behavior to detect people who violate their services.
WhatsApp also acknowledges that some companies might figure out a way around the machine learning algorithm hence, they need a more holistic approach and are committed to using all their resources.
Their official statement reads,
We’re aware that some companies attempt to evade our machine learning systems, even as we work tirelessly to improve them. Using the on-platform information available within WhatsApp we’ve found and stopped millions of abusive accounts from operating on our service. This is why in addition to technological enforcement, we also take legal action against individuals or companies that we link to on-platform evidence of such abuse. WhatsApp reserves its right to continue taking legal action in such circumstances.
By enforcing the limits, WhatsApp is currently banning at least 2 million accounts globally per month. They are very hopeful that the crackdown will reduce the number of spam messages greatly. They have also updated their FAQ page regarding the ‘zero spam tolerance’ policy.