Facebook-owned WhatsApp is one of the most popular chats apps. It currently has a userbase of 1.5 billion active users with the number still increasing. But as more people are joining the chat app, there has been a rise in the incidents of people misusing the platform. The company has taken several steps in the last one year to curb the abuse of the app, but at times these steps can be over the head for users like in this case where accounts are being permanently banned without looking deeply into the matter.
Posts are being shared on Reddit claiming that WhatsApp is banning groups with suspicious names without any prior warning to the users. All these banned accounts were found to be members of the groups having malicious group titles. The app recently introduced some changes in the process of adding members to the group. It introduced a group invite feature that lets you decide who can add you in a group giving three options- Everyone, My Contacts or My Contacts except.
One Reddit user going by the name Mowe11 posted on the discussion website that he faced a permanent ban from WhatsApp because one person changed the university group name into an abusive one. Later, everyone in the group including him was banned from the platform. Upon contacting the company, they received an automatic response saying that they had violated the company’s rules.
Another example is Reddit user etrec89 along with a group of 50 members who were banned because somebody in the group changed the name into a malicious one. Although the change lasted for not more than one minute, all the members were banned. FranciscoAlfaro, another Reddit user claims that he was in a school group of around 100 where all of them were banned because of similar action. All these members received an automatic response from WhatsApp saying that their accounts were banned because they violated company rules and no further assistance would be provided them on this. Users have no other option but to get a changed phone number.
The new punishment seems harsh considering the users were not given any chance to explain. So until WhatsApp changes its algorithm, avoid groups with unusual names.
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