Want to keep the TNW Conference vibe going?? Tickets for TNW2022 are available now >>

The heart of tech

This article was published on November 12, 2019

Why some accounts are getting banned for ‘suspicious’ group names on WhatsApp

Why some accounts are getting banned for ‘suspicious’ group names on WhatsApp
Ivan Mehta
Story by

Ivan Mehta

Ivan covers Big Tech, India, policy, AI, security, platforms, and apps for TNW. That's one heck of a mixed bag. He likes to say "Bleh." Ivan covers Big Tech, India, policy, AI, security, platforms, and apps for TNW. That's one heck of a mixed bag. He likes to say "Bleh."

Yesterday, GizChina reported some WhatsApp users are getting banned for ‘suspicious’ group names. According to a Reddit thread, a user changed a university group name to something that was indicative of child sexual abuse.

In February, WhatsApp released a whitepaper on how it fights spam and abuse without reading your messages. One of the methods the company uses to fight exploitative child content is to scan content such as unencrypted photos and group information.

“We rely on advanced machine learning technology to evaluate group information to identify and ban members of groups suspected of sharing Child Exploitative Imagery (CEI),” WhatsApp says on its blog.

It’s in a group admin’s interest to not let anyone but admins change the group’s info. Here’s how you can do it:

  • Open WhatsApp on your phone, and head to the group you moderate.
  • Tap on the group name, and then go to Group Settings > Edit group info.
  • Choose Only Admins option.

So, it’s best to avoid such group names. And if you’ve been banned by WhatsApp, you can appeal and prove that it was just a prank through the app or by contacting WhatsApp support.

Also tagged with