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WhatsApp is banning groups with suspicious and nasty names

WhatsApp is banning groups with suspicious and nasty names
Highlights

WhatsApp users are reporting about being banned from the Facebook-owned platform for being participants in groups with malicious names.

WhatsApp is banning users who are part of groups with illicit names or subjects. WhatsApp groups with names which denote illegal activities are getting banned on the messaging platform. So WhatsApp is banning each member of that particular group.

The first case of this WhatsApp ban was reported by Reddit user Mowe11 who reported that he was banned after his university group's name was changed to 'Child's Pornography'. Without any prior notice, each participant of this group was banned from WhatsApp. When contacted WhatsApp, these users received automated responses mentioning that they've violated the rules of the WhatsApp messaging app.

WhatsApp restored their account after a week of banning the user but without any clarification. Users report similar incidents about getting banned from their WhatsApp accounts. This one WhatsApp group with around 50 participants was banned after they had changed the group name to a 'disgusting' one. At noon the group name was changed, and all members were banned from WhatsApp the same night. After a ban of 27 days, WhatsApp restored the accounts of these users.

The ban notice comes as a big surprise as WhatsApp is a private messaging app. Also, WhatsApp messages are protected with end-to-end encryption which messages aren't being read. WhatsApp does have ban notices like a temporary ban for users who are on unauthorised apps. WhatsApp also bans accounts if the account violates the company's Terms of Service, mostly related to WhatsApp Business accounts.

On WhatsApp's side, the new ban practice could be an automated process which detects such activities through metadata. WABetaInfo explains, "Probably this is the only way that WhatsApp can use to detect malicious groups, seen that chats and calls are end-to-end encrypted and they cannot see the content of the group, so they see its metadata (group date creation, group subject, group description etc.)."

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