WhatsApp is popular in South Africa and abroad, with over 1 billion people using the messaging app in 180 countries.

The popularity of the applies, in part, that users only pay for the data they use on the platform – making it an inexpensive alternative to SMS.

With a large user base comes problems, though, and WhatsApp states in its terms of service that users can be temporarily or permanently banned if they violate its policies.

Detailed below are reasons you will be prohibited from using the messaging app, and what happens if you are banned.
Why WhatsApp will ban a user

Users who “abuse” the system or violate the terms of service may have their account temporarily suspended.

Users will receive a warning message in the app that contains the duration of this temporary ban.

You will not be able to access any part of your WhatsApp account until the ban expires.
  • Actions which can lead to a temporary ban include:
  • Sending too many messages to users who do not have your number saved in their address books.
  • Being blocked by too many people in a short period of time.
  • Creating too many groups that contain users who do not list you in their address books.
  • Sending the same message to too many people.
  • Violating the Terms of Service.
Users may also have their phone numbers permanently banned from WhatsApp if they violate the app’s terms of service.

72 hours after your account has been banned, you will no longer be visible to your contact list.