(Reuters) — WhatsApp has threatened authorized motion in opposition to those that publicly declare the flexibility to abuse its messaging platform, after the emergence of a raft of corporations promoting merchandise to bypass utilization restrictions.

A Reuters investigation present in Could that WhatsApp clones and software program instruments had been serving to Indian digital entrepreneurs and political activists bypass anti-spam restrictions within the run-up to India’s basic election.

Till now, WhatsApp has centered authorized motion on abuses for which it had discovered inner proof.

Nevertheless the Fb-owned firm stated in a submit titled “Unauthorized utilization of WhatsApp” that from Dec. 7 it could take motion even when an entity merely made public claims of a capability to abuse its platform.

The corporate stated this “serves as discover that we are going to take authorized motion in opposition to corporations” for such abuses. A WhatsApp spokeswoman didn’t specify what kind of authorized motion it may take.

Reuters in Could reported WhatsApp was being misused forward of India’s basic election by using free clone apps and by way of a $14 software program instrument that allowed customers to automate supply of bulk WhatsApp messages.

Instruments purporting to bypass WhatsApp restrictions have additionally been marketed in movies and on-line boards geared toward customers in Indonesia and Nigeria, each of which held elections this 12 months.

Some corporations in India additionally provided the prospect to ship bulk WhatsApp messages from nameless numbers by way of an internet site, Reuters discovered.

Preventing spam has been a serious difficulty for WhatsApp, particularly in India, the place it has greater than 200 million customers.

Final 12 months, false messages circulating on WhatsApp sparked mob lynchings in India, following which the corporate restricted forwarding of a message to solely 5 customers.

WhatsApp stated it can additionally proceed banning accounts based mostly on machine studying. WhatsApp says it blocks greater than 2 million accounts per 30 days worldwide for bulk or automated conduct.

(Reporting by Munsif Vengattil and Aditya Kalra; Enhancing by Euan Rocha and Jan Harvey)