On the occasion of Safer Internet Day, Whatsapp released a white-paper highlighting its corrective measures against Automated Behaviour and Bulk Messaging. Govt. of India has also directed the instant messaging app to mitigate fake news.
Whatsapp White Paper
The Facebook-owned app emphasis its efforts towards the broadcast messaging taking the form of spam. It goes ahead with the claim that “Approximately 90% of the messages sent on WhatsApp are from one person to another, and the majority of groups have fewer than ten people.” The double quotation mark stresses that its not a broadcasting application.
An interesting declaration would be its use of AI to ban around 2 million accounts per month based on automated behavior and bulk messaging. Machine learning is used in three stages to battle these issues- at registration, during messaging, and in response to negative feedback.
“We have advanced machine learning systems that take action to ban accounts, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week; Roughly 20% of account bans happened at registration time,” the paper states. Their indigenous algorithms are able to identify suspicious behavior of mobile numbers and computer networks.
Nextly at the messaging stage, if a user activity crosses a threshold, its deemed abusive. However, users need not worry about the privacy of their messages and associated data. Whatsapp claims they use behavioral indicators and users’ reports to detect suspicious activity.
They also make use of the feedback reports to understand whether the intent of the account is to sell a product or seed misinformation. The paper also mentions several other features like Forwarded Labels, two-step verification, and suspicious link detection.
It had recently introduced a Forward-Limit to only five chats. Above all these, now the Indian Government has also issued a notice to Messaging platform to crack down on fake news. The gravity of such notification could be attributed to the upcoming elections.