WhatsApp will take legal action against businesses engaged in or assisting others in abusing automated or bulk messaging on its platform. The company has built two tools -- the WhatsApp Business app and the WhatsApp Business API -- to help companies manage customer interactions. The company said that its products are not intended for bulk or automated messaging, both of which have always been a violation of its terms of service.
"WhatsApp will take legal action against those we determine are engaged in or assisting others in abuse that violates our terms of service, such as automated or bulk messaging, or non-personal use, even if that determination is based on information solely available to us off our platform," the Facebook-owned platform said in a statement.
For example, off-platform information includes public claims from companies about their ability to use WhatsApp in ways that violate its terms.
"This serves as notice that we will take legal action against companies for which we only have off-platform evidence of abuse if that abuse continues beyond December 7, 2019, or if those companies are linked to on-platform evidence of abuse before that date," said WhatsApp.
The platform, on an average, bans over two million accounts per month for bulk or automated behaviour and over 75 percent of those accounts did not have any recent user reports.
An account that registered five minutes before attempting to send 100 messages in 15 seconds is almost certain to be engaged in abuse, as is an account that attempts to quickly create dozens of groups or add thousands of users to a series of existing groups.
"Using the on-platform information available within WhatsApp, we've found and stopped millions of abusive accounts from operating on our service," it said.
In addition to technological enforcement, said WhatsApp, it also takes legal action against individuals or companies that it links to on-platform evidence of such abuse.
"We will continue to provide capabilities to help businesses communicate with their customers," said WhatsApp.