A new report by the ever-reliable tipster, Wabetainfo says that WhatsApp is banning users that are in groups that have or suspicious names. Wabetainfo claims that it has received several reports from users who got banned for using peculiar names (for WhatsApp groups) that violate Terms of Services.
In these weeks we are receiving a lot of reports from users that have been banned from WhatsApp. After investigating, it seems that they have a common reason: WhatsApp has banned those users from using WhatsApp because they were in a group that had, as group subject, a malicious name.
The report goes on to narrate how 4 WhatsApp users got banned for using suspicious names for groups. One notable group whose members got banned was named, “ch*ld p*rn”, which logically says “child porn”.
The first report was found on Reddit, where the user Mowe11 published a post about his WhatsApp ban. He explained that a guy that was a participant of his group changed his university’s name group to something illegal, determining the ban for the entire group. He has also confirmed that all members got banned and that it was the 3rd time that a user did that.
Another user from Reddit, FranciscoAlfaro, was in a group of his school, having about 100 participants. When he woke up, all members were mysteriously banned for no apparent reason.
Another report from PiTiXX, that says that he was banned from using WhatsApp because his friend changed the group subject using the same malicious name, and all accounts were suspended.
Another report is from Twitter, where my follower Laurato said that it was banned for the same reason:
What was most irritating to some of the blocked users was that when they got in touch with WhatsApp to ask why they were blocked, they got an automated message telling them that they have breached WhatsApp’s Terms of Services.
When these users tried to reach WhatsApp, they have received an automatic reply, that explained that they were banned from violating their Terms Of Services, and that they won’t reply again. So, in this case, someone that was wrongly banned can do nothing and cannot receive the assistance from WhatsApp. People are forced to change their phone number, losing their chat history.
Given that WhatsApp prides itself as an end-to-end encrypted messaging service, you might wonder how it managed to see the names of the groups. Well, even though WhatsApp doesn’t read our messages, it can collect/read metadata such as group names, group creation dates, and the members that are in the group. So that’s how WhatsApp manages to know and ban users in groups with suspicious names. Read this article to see for yourself that WhatsApp collects metadata of groups.
What names to chose for your group?
WhatsApp hasn’t released a clear guideline of what people should consider before coming up with names for their groups. The only guideline that is available is its Terms of Service but it is too long for people to peruse just to find the appropriate name for their group. As for now, it’s best to stay away from terrorist, pornographic or racist group names.