If you’re in a group with a malicious name, there’s a chance that WhatsApp might ban you from the most popular messaging application in the world. This is in accordance with a report by WABetaInfo in which it states that it’s been receiving a lot of reports from users that have been banned.
According to the report, the first instance was reported by a user known as Mowe11 on Reddit. The post reads that all the members of the group, including him, were banned after someone in the group changed the name of the group to something that was illegal. Another user on Reddit, going by the username of PiTiXX, faced a similar fate when the name of a group he was in was changed to something that was illegal in nature.
When some of these users tried to reach out to WhatsApp to clarify their stance, they were only met with an automated reply that said they had violated the terms and conditions of WhatsApp. Given that chats and calls are encrypted end-to-end, WhatsApp probably uses metadata like Group Name and Group Description to keep a tab on users with malicious intent. The report by WABetaInfo further explains that this only seems to affect old groups that have a lot of participants and with a malicious group name.
If you’re in a group with a lot of participants, you might want to make everyone aware of the repercussions of what might be a joke. If you’re an admin yourself, you can use the Group Info Restriction feature that limits the functionality of changing the group name and description only to admins.
This doesn’t seem to be the most ideal way to block malicious content from spreading on WhatsApp as group names might not always be indicative of what the intent of the group actually is. But it’s better to take precautions to avoid being blocked unless WhatsApp sheds some light on what’s going on here.