As per WhatsApp India’s ‘User Safety Monthly Report’ under the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2022, WhatsApp messenger banned over 4.5 million accounts in India in February 2023. The accounts were banned on the basis of complaints received from users through its grievances division and the company’s own mechanism to prevent and detect law violators.

The accounts banned in February 2023 were higher than the number of accounts banned in the preceding month. As per the report, WhatsApp had banned 2.9 million accounts in January 2023, 3.6 million accounts in December 2022 and 3.7 million accounts in November 2022. Between February 1, 2023, and February 28, 2023, 4,597,400 WhatsApp accounts were banned. 1,298,000 of these accounts were proactively banned, before any reports from users. The messaging platform revealed that as many as 2,804 grievance reports were received, and 504 accounts were “actioned” in February 2023. Of the total reports received, 2,548 pertained to “ban appeal” while others were in the categories of account support, product support and safety, among others.