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WhatsApp’s new update: What’s true and what isn’t

WhatsApp asks users to double check the facts that they receive. File Photo  

In an effort to curb fake news that is spread on its platform, WhatsApp has introduced an update that will help users know if a message is forwarded, and give group admins more power when it comes to controlling who posts messages in a group.

Myth: Government can now read your messages

One of the forwards bearing fake news that have been doing to the rounds on WhatsApp. This particular one is about the WhatsApp update.

One of the forwards bearing fake news that have been doing to the rounds on WhatsApp. This particular one is about the WhatsApp update.  

 

Truth: No, it’s encrypted. WhatsApp has end-to-end encryption, one of the reasons they cited that they can't filter their content, when the government asked the company to take remedial measures. That means the government cannot read your messages, just as much as WhatsApp can’t.

Myth: Government can arrest you if the message is considered ‘Not OK’

Truth: No. A democratically elected government cannot simply arrest its citizens because a message is considered ‘Not OK,’ as a certain WhatsApp forward doing the rounds has said. The government will arrest a citizen if that person is breaking the law. But, they can’t read messages, and this can happen only if someone files a complaint against you.

Myth: There is a limit to forwarding messages

A screenshot of a forwarded message with the tag.

A screenshot of a forwarded message with the tag.  

 

Truth: No, there is no such limit. There was the hilarious story that smartphones in India are freezing because too many good morning messages are clogging servers. That is true.

But WhatsApp hasn’t limited the number of messages you can forward. What they have done is to introduce an icon at the top of a forwarded message to let you know that the sender is not the original creator of the message.

Myth: Admins can be removed from the groups they created

Truth: Not any longer. With the new update, group creators cannot be removed from their groups. Admins can control who posts messages and who can change the group name, icon and description.

Admins can control who sends messages and changes group icons, names and descriptions.

Admins can control who sends messages and changes group icons, names and descriptions.  

 

The good news for all those people who have left WhatsApp groups to only be added back repeatedly is that the company has introduced features to protect them from being added back again.

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Printable version | Jan 13, 2021 7:45:55 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/whatsapps-new-update-whats-true-and-what-isnt/article24389641.ece

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