The Report feature was introduced about five years ago to help WhatsApp identify people using the instant messaging platform to spread spam and malicious content. Rumors, fake news, hoax messages, etc., are examples of content that WhatsApp categorizes as spam. If you constantly receive any of these from someone on WhatsApp, you should report them. And if the spam content is being distributed in a group chat, you can report the group too.
In the section below, we'll share with you about what happens when you report someone or a group on WhatsApp.
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1. Reporting an Individual
When you want to report someone on WhatsApp, you are presented with two options: 'Report' only and 'Report and Block'. We'll explain how both options work and their after-effects in the sections below.
As soon as you hit that 'Report' or 'Report and Block' button, your recent interactions with the reported number would be sent to WhatsApp for investigative purposes. Let's proceed to answer some common queries that you might have about what happens next.
Can a Reported Number Still Send You Texts
Well, this totally depends on the selection you made when you reported the contact. If you choose 'Report and Block' option, that person won't be able to send you new messages. On the other hand, if you select the 'Report' option while reporting the contact, that person can still bomb your inbox with texts, media files, or voice notes.
Whichever option you choose, WhatsApp will register the report you've submitted and add the number to a 'Watchlist' where the person's activities will be closely monitored. Also, an investigation will be carried out on the person’s activities on the platform and they might eventually be banned from using WhatsApp.
How Long Does It Take WhatsApp to Ban a Reported Number
At this point, no one really knows. As mentioned above, WhatsApp would launch an investigation on the reported contact(s). If WhatsApp finds reasons to believe that the account's activities truly violate WhatsApp's Terms of Service, the number could be (temporarily or permanently) banned from using WhatsApp.
Note: Reporting a number doesn't guarantee that the person will be banned from using WhatsApp. Banning a reported number happens at WhatsApp's discretion.
Can A Reported Number Call You
Again, that depends on the options chosen when you had reported the number. If you select 'Report and Block' a user, WhatsApp will not deliver their calls to you. Whenever someone you've 'reported and blocked' calls you, the call will ring endlessly on their end but you won't receive the call or be notified about it.
On the other hand, reporting someone without blocking still gives them access to reach you via voice or video calls, even after your report has been sent/submitted to WhatsApp.
What Happens to Previous Chats/Messages
When you report someone to WhatsApp, previous conversations with the reported contact will continue to appear on your phone. However, if you choose the 'Report and Block' option, your chats with the person will be deleted completely.
2. Reporting a Group
Reporting a group is also very similar to reporting an individual. So when you want to report a group, WhatsApp presents you the same two options: ‘Report’ and ‘Report and Exit’.
When you chose ‘Report and Exit’ you’ll leave the group and a complaint will be sent to WhatsApp about the group's activities simultaneously. That means you will no longer be a participant/member of the group. Consequently, the group (and the group's messages) will also be deleted from your phone.
On the other hand, choosing to only ‘Report’ a group without exiting doesn’t change your status in the group. Your report will be sent to WhatsApp about the group’s activity but you will still remain an active member. Everything will appear quite normal.
What then happens to a group you reported?
The Group Will Be Monitored
This is also similar to reporting an individual. When WhatsApp receives a report about a group's potentially disturbing activities, then the reported group will be placed under close watch. WhatsApp might not necessarily take any action against the group immediately. The group might still continue to exist and remain functional even after you report it.
The Group Might Be Deactivated
So, what then happens to a group spreading misinformation and other spam messages? Is reporting the group any effective? Well, only when more members or participants report the group as spam. If WhatsApp finds a group guilty of spamming people after receiving numerous reports, the company will most likely deactivate the group.
What Happens to the Group Members
Nothing happens to the group members. They won't be banned and no punishment/sanction would be meted out to them either. All members of a deactivated group will no longer be able to send or receive messages in the reported group.
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Spam Aren't Cool
Reporting someone who is bugging you with incessant spam-like content on WhatsApp is the right thing to do, particularly from an unknown number. By doing that, you are sending a signal to WhatsApp that the person is a spammer. WhatsApp will then decide whether or not to ban the person/number based on the outcome of its investigations. If the person keeps spamming you with unwanted messages, you should proceed to block them. And if it's a group, you should exit the group for your sanity.
Do you want to shift your WhatsApp from one number to another? Before doing that, read what happens when you change the number on WhatsApp from the article linked below.
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