WhatsApp bans 26 lakh bad accounts in India

Under the upgraded IT Rules 2021, major digital and social media platforms, with in excess of five million users, have to publish monthly compliance reports…reports Asian Lite News

Meta-owned WhatsApp on Tuesday said it banned over 26 lakh accounts in India in the month of September in compliance with the new IT Rules, 2021, which are now being amended to put more responsibilities on social media platforms.

The messaging platform, which has nearly 500 million users (according to third-party data) in the country, received 666 complaint reports in September in India, and the records “actioned” were 23.

“In accordance with the IT Rules 2021, we’ve published our report for the month of September 2022. This user-safety report contains details of the user complaints received and the corresponding action taken by WhatsApp, as well as WhatsApp’s own preventive actions to combat abuse on our platform,” a company spokesperson said in a statement.

The platform banned over 23 lakh bad accounts in India in August.

Under the upgraded IT Rules 2021, major digital and social media platforms, with in excess of five million users, have to publish monthly compliance reports.

Meanwhile, in a major push towards an open, safe, trusted and accountable Internet, the Ministry of Electronics and IT has notified some amendments aimed at protecting the rights of “Digital Nagriks”.

Currently, social media intermediaries are only required to inform users about not uploading certain categories of harmful/unlawful content.

The amendments impose a legal obligation on intermediaries to take reasonable efforts to prevent users from uploading such content.

Union Minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar said that protection of constitutional rights of the Indian citizens is a must.

The amendments were notified after the Ministry followed an exhaustive public consultation process involving all stakeholders.

The new provisions will ensure that the intermediary’s obligation is not a mere formality.

Snapchat AR creator community grows 60% in India

Snapchat on Tuesday said that its augmented reality (AR) creator community in India grew by 60 per cent this year, riding on its successful localisation strategy piloted in the country.

Since its launch in India, time spent on Spotlight by the Indian Snapchatter community has increased by 175 per cent (YOY).

Discover, Snap’s content platform featuring selected partners, had over 140 million Indian Snapchatters watching a show in 2022, while local channels publishing premium content on Discover increased by 150 per cent (YOY), said the company.

Snap, the parent company of Snapchat, said in a statement that the localisation strategy has been the key in expanding cultural moments by adding more regional festivals, upskilling the Indian youth in AR to develop highly active and creative local creator communities, and has gone on to become a roadmap adopted by other global Snap markets.

“This year, to celebrate the diversity and festive spirit in India, Snap collaborated with Indian lens creators to introduce AR Lenses for over 75 local festivals and rolled out over 500 hyperlocal geofilters across cities to help Snapchatters engage with their communities at a hyper-local level,” said the company.

These creators are now active users of Lens Studio, Snap’s free, desktop application designed to help artists, designers, and developers build AR experiences

To drive AR skilling among the Indian youth, Snap partnered with Atal Innovation Mission and NITI Aayog to help reach more than 8,000 government schools in India and train over 12,000 teachers educating millions of students across the country with AR, over a two-year time frame, said the company.

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