WhatsApp threatens legal action against companies that bypass its anti-spam protections
WhatsApp remains at the top of all messaging apps with a user base of more than 1.5 billion. While the massive user base offers huge business opportunities to WhatsApp, the Facebook-owned messaging platform also faces the challenge of having the platform abused for spamming or bulk messaging for spreading fake news and selling products. WhatsApp has taken certain steps to curtail this behavior including restricting the forwarding of messages to five persons at a time and labeling frequently forwarded messages while also temporarily banning those who use knock-off versions of the app to bypass these restrictions. Now, WhatsApp will be taking stricter steps against those who flout its terms of services including legal action against abusers to maintain the general health of the platform.
WhatsApp recently updated its FAQ on unauthorize usage to state that starting December 7, 2019, it will take legal actions against those who use WhatsApp for spamming or automated messaging or any other form of non-personal use. The page reads that the company has been using machine learning to identify and penalize on-platform abusive activities. But now, it will take legal measures against companies which claim to provide guaranteed RoI for using their tools to market products on WhatsApp.
A quick search for “WhatsApp marketing” on Google should reveal tens of such service provides which guarantee results at incredibly low costs, especially in growing economies like India. These steps are vital in India, which is home to 200 million of WhatsApp’s users. WhatsApp is also expected to take action against those who claim to offer tools to bypass forwarding restrictions in WhatsApp ahead of the elections in countries including Indonesia and Nigeria. Last month, Reuters reported that services priced as low as $14 were being sold to bypass forwarding restrictions in India in favor of peddling fake news before the recently concluded Indian general elections.
Besides striking at companies or individuals who engage in these abusive activities directly, WhatsApp will be going after those who assist others in abusing its terms of services. The company will continue using machine learning tools to weed out abusers. These tools currently ban almost 2 million users every month.