Unauthorized use of automated or bulk messaging on WhatsApp
WhatsApp is a private messaging platform originally built to help people message their friends and loved ones. Over time we've seen how people value messaging with businesses and so we've built two tools–the WhatsApp Business app and the WhatsApp Business API–to help companies manage customer interactions. Our products are not intended for bulk or automated messaging, both of which have always been a violation of our Terms of Service.
We are committed to reinforcing the private nature of our platform and keeping users safe from abuse. We recently detailed our on-platform capabilities to identify and ban accounts in this white paper. We're aware that some companies attempt to evade our machine learning systems, even as we work tirelessly to improve them. Using the on-platform information available within WhatsApp we've found and stopped millions of abusive accounts from operating on our service.
This is a challenge that requires a holistic approach and WhatsApp is committed to using the resources at its disposal–including legal action–to prevent abuse that violates our Terms of Service, such as automated or bulk messaging, or non-personal use. This is why in addition to technological enforcement, we also take legal action against individuals or companies that we link to on-platform evidence of such abuse. WhatsApp reserves its right to continue taking legal action in such circumstances.
In addition, beginning on December 7, 2019, 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. For example, off-platform information includes public claims from companies about their ability to use WhatsApp in ways that violate our 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.
Nothing in this announcement limits WhatsApp's right to enforce its Terms using technology, such as banning accounts based on machine-learning classifiers, and WhatsApp will continue to do so.