According to a new report, WhatsApp users could be banned permanently from using the cross-platform messaging app if they are participants of groups with an illegal or malicious name. WhatsApp has apparently started taking action against some users by banning them from using the app permanently for being part of a group with a name that promoted illegal activities, as pointed out by Reddit user Mowe11.
The user, named Mowe11, said that he and his fellow group members were permanently banned from using the Facebook-owned app after one person from their University WhatsApp ground changed the group’s name to “Child’s Pornography.” Each and every participant of the group was banned from using the app without notice. When they reached out to WhatsApp, they received automated responses stating that they had violated the rules of the messaging app.
A similar post has been shared by another user on Reddit as well. “Our whole group of about 50 persons was permanently banned because somebody thought it would be funny to scare the rest of us by changing the name of the group to such a disgusting topic for less than 1 minute (as the name was changed back to normal almost immediately),” the user wrote. “It was noon when the name change happened, that same night, all of us woke up with the news that all our accounts were permanently banned.”
However, the user added that the group members were able to recover their account after nearly a month. The disciplinary action taken against members of a group with a malicious name comes as a surprise given that WhatsApp is a private messaging app. Moreover, WhatsApp messages are protected with end-to-end encryptions, which means the texts aren’t being read.
WABetaInfo believes WhatsApp could be enforcing bans using an automated process to detect illegal activities via metadata. Nevertheless, you can avoid the ban by changing the group settings to allow only the group’s admin to edit the group’s information including its name. Giving only the admin the power to edit the group’s information will ensure mischievous elements in a group do not mess about or do something that can get the entire group banned.