From a support article by WhatsApp, one of the – if not the – most popular messaging app in the world:
If you received an in-app message stating your account is “Temporarily banned” this means that you’re likely using an unsupported version of WhatsApp instead of the official WhatsApp app. If this is the case, you must download the official app to continue using WhatsApp.
Unsupported apps, such as WhatsApp Plus and GB WhatsApp, are altered versions of WhatsApp. These unofficial apps are developed by third parties and violate our Terms of Service. WhatsApp doesn’t support these third-party apps because we can’t validate their security practices.
With how important messaging platforms like WhatsApp are in many countries – including my own – they’ve basically become an intrinsic part of the fabric of society, and as such, I really feel like we need to do something about the kind of behaviour as highlighted in this support article. Do we really want to leave a core aspect of our communications up to Facebook, of all companies?
I’m not sure what we can do about this, exactly. Suggesting alternatives like Signal is pointless, since that’s like suggesting all your friends and family learn a specific language just to communicate with you. Government intervention should definitely be an option, but I have no idea in what shape or form. Whatever happens, though, I see little difference between concerns about Huawei’s networking equipment and Facebook’s WhatsApp.
If you’re concerned about one, you should be just as concerned about the other.