June 14, 2019

WhatsApp Officially Announces That It Will Take Legal Action Against Users If They Send Bulk Messages Or Misuse The App

[ By Bobby Anthony ]


Facebook-owned smart phone messaging app WhatsApp has officially announced that it will take legal action against individuals and companies, who misuse the app or send messages to a lot of people in violation of its terms and conditions.

The company has stated in its updated ‘Unauthorized Usage of WhatsApp’ policy that entities or individuals engaged in activities like sending bulk or automated messaged would face legal action from December 7, 2019 onwards.

“WhatsApp will take legal action against those engaged in or assisting others in abuse that violates our Terms of Service, such as automated or bulk messaging, or non-personal use, even if that determination is based on information solely available to us off our platform,” it said.

However, the company did not specify what sort of legal action it could take, especially in markets like India.

WhatsApp has clarified that its products are not intended for bulk or automated messaging and these are against its terms of service.

In a similar crackdown last year, the company had restricted the forwarding of messages after a spate of mob lynchings in Northern India.

The latest update has come after reports a few months ago that WhatsApp was misused during Lok Sabha elections through free clone apps and through a software tool which allowed users to automate delivery of bulk WhatsApp messages.

The company has been under fire from the Indian government over fake news and false information being circulated through its app.

Earlier, the company had released a white paper which warned of automated and spam messages being used to publish what it deemed as “problematic content”.

Alluding to the allegations on influencing voters, it said that this should be stopped as it is “particularly important during elections where certain groups may attempt to send messages at scale”.

The company has also limited the number of times users can forward any single message to five, in an attempt to stop false information spreading on the platform.

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