In another move that will help arrest fake/ biased news and break down closed echo chambers, popular messaging service WhatsApp has made a decision to give users more control over who gets to add them in WhatsApp groups.
With 1.5 billion users, WhatsApp has been trying to crack down on cases of misuse of the popular app, especially after allegations that the platform has been instrumental in distributing fake news, doctored photos, and hoaxes. Nobody means you will be sent an invite to join a group, but you will not be added until you approve. However, you will have the option to reject or accept those invitations within three days. Lastly, choosing "Nobody" will disallow anyone to add the user to a WhatsApp group. "As people turn to groups for important conversations, users have asked for more control over their experience", the Facebook-owned firm said in a statement.
The instant messaging app is bringing an invite system for groups to essentially give users the choice of joining the group.
For people who select "My Contacts", only contacts can add you to groups. Users can head to the Privacy Settings on WhatsApp and choose among "Anyone", "My contact", and "Nobody" for who can add them to a group. And WhatsApp is now removing around 2 million suspicious accounts globally per month, the report said. In essence, if you decide to choose "Nobody", this means that no one can add you into a WhatsApp group without your permission.
Correspondent|WhatsApp is set to roll out a new privacy feature.
WhatsApp is updating its privacy settings worldwide
What makes fake news and rumors on WhatsApp so hard to stop is the fact that there is no way to track perpetrators of such acts.
Just recently, the service introduced a tip-line to help users verify the authenticity of a text or multimedia message received on the platform. The "My contacts" option will limit the option to people whose numbers are already saved in your contacts.
Users have in the past complained about being added into groups they did not consent to and often having to leave the groups.
India, one of WhatsApp's largest markets, have accused WhatsApp of failing to curb false information on its platform.