WhatsApp is possibly cracking down on groups that carry a suspicious group subject on the messaging app, according to Wabetainfo. Although this is a bit unusual since we have never heard about such action from WhatsApp until this point, multiple reports have emerged on Reddit that WhatsApp is preventing certain individuals from using its service, especially those that belong to WhatsApp groups having a 'suspicious' or 'malicious' name as the group subject.
According to a Reddit user Mowe11, the entire WhatsApp group of a University was banned because one of the participants changed the group subject to "Childs Pornography."
"We tried to contact support but all we receive are automatic responses that says we violated the rules. Obviously we did nothing wrong," Redditor said.
Another Reddit user reported a similar incident where changing the group subject to 'Child Porn' resulted in an immediate ban on WhatsApp.
Another similar report: https://t.co/exkEu3ZyDO— WABetaInfo (@WABetaInfo) November 7, 2019
Someone has changed the group subject using a random malicious name -> banned.
I don't know precisely why it happens (because it's server-side) but it seems that it afflicts old groups or groups having a lot of participants. https://t.co/SZ2ryJLore
Happended to me. Was on a group named with some ilegal thing (CP) and got banned just for that. Had to get another number— Lautaro G.C (@Lautiseptiembre) November 7, 2019
"Be aware that we ban accounts if we believe the account activity is in violation of our Terms of Service. Please review the “Acceptable Use of Our Services” section of our Terms of Service carefully to learn more about the appropriate uses of WhatsApp Business and the activities that violate our Terms of Service," WhatsApp mentions on its website.
We have reached out to WhatsApp for a comment and we will update our story as and when we hear back.
Recently, WhatsApp rolled out group privacy controls to all users amid NSO-Pegasus spyware controversy. These new controls allow users to exclude other users from adding them to random groups without permission.
In related news, WhatsApp reportedly experienced a massive decline in terms of downloads, following the Pegasus spyware controversy in India. WhatsApp downloads fell 80 per cent between October 26 and November 3.