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.

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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.

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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.


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