WhatsApp Business Platform Policy Enforcement

In order to maintain high quality conversations on the WhatsApp Business Platform as we scale, we’ll begin enforcing on WhatsApp Business Accounts that repeatedly violate Business and Commerce Policies. WhatsApp launched a warning-only grace period in November 2021. Beginning March 14th 2022, we will start rolling out additional enforcement actions such as temporary blocks on messaging.

The goal of this guide is to educate businesses on how this enforcement system works and the product experience.

This document does not include information on messaging limits based on quality rating. For more information on this topic, click here.

How It Works

WhatsApp Business Accounts will initially get a warning with information on the policy they violated. If Business Accounts repeatedly violate high-risk policy categories, such as, adult content, sale of alcohol and tobacco, drugs, gambling and Unsafe supplements sections of our Commerce Policy, they may start seeing messaging restrictions that gradually increase in duration, like:

  • 1 or 3 day block on sending business-initiated messages and adding additional phone numbers to the account
  • 5 or 7 day block on sending business-initiated messages and responding to customer-initiated messages and adding additional phone numbers to the account
  • Eventually be permanently disabled from the WhatsApp Business Platform, if the business does not make changes after multiple warnings and feature limits

In some cases, where there is evidence of a policy violation that causes severe harm to our users, such as child exploitation, terrorism, or the sale of illegal drugs, WhatsApp will immediately disable these Business accounts from the Business Platform.

All violations can be appealed within 90 days of being received.

Product Experience

We have a comprehensive product experience so that businesses and BSPs can access transparent, granular and actionable information about violations via multiple channels.

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Understanding Violations

When a business account violates a policy, additional detail can be found by reviewing the violation in the Account Quality section of Business Manager. To see violations:

  1. Log in to Business Manager. (If you've transitioned to Meta Business Suite, follow the steps listed here to switch to Business Manager.)
  2. Click More > Account Quality > Facebook Business Accounts.
  3. In the WhatsApp Accounts section, click the WhatsApp Business Account that shows “Account Issues” in its Status column:
  4. For any individual issue, click See Details to view the policy that was violated and how to avoid this type of violation in the future:

Violation updates include the following information:

  • Summary of policy violated and link to the policy itself.
  • Examples of which content is allowed or disallowed based on that policy.
  • Whether there are any active restrictions on the account and what happens if the violation happens again.
  • How to avoid future policy violations and links to helpful resources.
  • How to appeal.

Notifications about violations are also:

  • Surfaced in the Business Manager Notifications Center and as a banner in WhatsApp Manager.
  • Sent as an email to all admins set in Business Manager.
  • Sent as a webhook notification to those subscribed.

Enforcement Actions

Accounts can become restricted or disabled depending on the number and severity of issues. Specific restrictions can be viewed in Account Quality along with information on next steps and requesting a review for a particular policy issue.

Restricted or disabled accounts can still appeal issues. If issues are reversed following the appeal, the account returns to its previous status.

Webhooks

Integrate with webhooks in order to receive real-time notifications about changes to a WhatsApp Business Account (WABA). Subscribe to the account_update webhook to receive real-time notifications whenever a Business Account has violated a policy, and when applicable, messaging restriction type and duration. This ensures businesses can quickly adjust behavior to avoid additional warnings and/or enforcement actions.

Appeals

If a business believes it is actually compliant with WhatsApp policies, it can appeal the violation by requesting a review. When a business appeals a violation, the WhatsApp team reviews the case against the violation appealed to come up with a decision if the violation needs to be reconsidered. This review may result in WhatsApp reversing the violation.

This is how you request a decision review:

  1. From the Account Quality page, click on the relevant WhatsApp Business Account.
  2. Choose from the list of violations and click Request Review.
  3. A new dialog opens in Business Manager. Enter supporting details and click Submit.
  4. After submission, the request and the issue are moved to the In Review tab.
  5. The appeal review decision will be sent via Business Manager and typically takes 24 to 48 hours. The appealed violation will either remain Unchanged, or be set as Reversed.

Preventing Future Violations

  • Read the Commerce and Business Policies and review this article that answers frequently asked questions about these policies.
  • Subscribe to the account_update webhooks to receive real-time notifications whenever a Business Account has violated a policy, and when applicable, messaging restriction type and duration.
  • Adjust behavior on the platform quickly to avoid additional warnings and/or enforcement actions.

All screenshots in this page are illustrative.