It has never happened to me but from time to time WhatsApp hands out a ban for perceived violations of its terms and services. Usually, it’s something that just happens and those punished really have no idea what prompted the ban. Even worse, until now it was not easy to appeal this ban or even find out what had caused it. That’s thankfully about to change.
According to the all-things-WhatsApp website, WABetaInfo, the powers at WhatsApp are currently working on a feature that will remove some of the pain points associated with the ban process. The feature is being implemented both on Apple’s iOS’s devices where it’s now live in the beta version of the app and in Android where it’s also available in the beta version of the APK.
Based on the above screenshot the ban process will now be more streamlined. You will also get a clear reason telling you why your number has been banned. In this case, the user is accused of spamming but it’s still not clear exactly what constitutes spam or how the ban is implemented. We know for example that those who receive messages from people not in their contacts can click the report spam button and block the sender. However, this can happen maliciously or by mistake too.
Despite the still marked lack of specifics, the process will become more streamlined after this update is pushed. This is in no small part thanks to the fact that you can actually submit an appeal to the ban from within WhatsApp itself.
That seems trivial but it’s not. In countries like Zimbabwe, it makes all the difference. Most people get on WhatsApp using WhatsApp bundles that are offered by Mobile Network Operators (MNOs). This means that their access to the internet is actually restricted to WhatsApp and WhatsApp only. We have said this countless times before, but it’s still no less true. For most people, WhatsApp constitutes the beginning and end of their WhatsApp experience.
This means that if you are handed a ban it might actually be impossible to appeal that ban as you have no access to the rest of the internet. This development changes that. You can just file your own appeal without having to hunt for normal internet bundles. That’s actual money saved right there.
Of course just because you can appeal doesn’t mean your appeal will be accepted. Reviews will reportedly take up to 24 hours and you can check the status of your appeal via the same screen. If the appeal is successful normal usage is restored.