New Delhi: Popular messaging app WhatsApp has alleged that political parties have been misusing its service ahead of the Lok Sabha elections and has warned them not to do so, Reuters quoted a senior executive as saying.

The report added that while WhatsApp did not name the parties, there is mounting concern that party workers could misuse the platform by using automated tools for mass messaging or spread false news to sway voters.

“We have seen a number of parties attempt to use WhatsApp in ways that it was not intended, and our firm message to them is that using it in that way will result in bans of our service,” Carl Woog, head of communications for WhatsApp, was quoted by Reuters as saying.

Woog added that they were engaged with political parties to explain the company’s view that the app was not a “broadcast platform”.

“We are trying to be very clear going into the election that there is abuse on WhatsApp. We are working very hard to identify it and prevent it as soon as possible,” he said.

Both the BJP and the Congress denied abusing WhatsApp.

WhatsApp has been at the centre of controversy in India since last year after false messages spread on its platform sparked a number of mob lynchings.

WhatsApp has tried to curb the spread of fake news by educating users through roadshow campaigns, as well as print and radio advertising. It also limited the number of people someone can forward a message to at one time.