WhatsApp Groups are virtual platforms for families, workplaces, communities, schools and more. The groups are increasing in size and scale. Now, we also have WhatsApp Communities in the fold that expands reach significantly. WhatsApp groups are still the popular choice of communication but it can also become a point of contention for users worried about privacy. In order to minimize the impact on privacy, WhatsApp has a few features that let you make the most of the platform, without compromising on safety and privacy.
Check the best safety features you can use in WhatsApp groups:
Block and Report: WhatsApp offers users the option to block accounts and make reports to WhatsApp directly if they encounter problematic messages in individual or group chats. The instant messaging application provides the option for people to keep reported messages on their phones if they want to share them with fact-checkers or law enforcement officials.
Forward Limits: You might have heard that WhatsApp lets you forward a highly forwarded message to no more than five individual accounts. However, there is a separate limit for WhatsApp groups. Messages that have the "forwarded label" can only be forwarded to one group at a time, rather than five. WhatsApp claims that limiting forwarded messages has led to 70 per cent reduction in forwarded content. The app emphasises on the fact that users should refrain from forwarding a message if they are unsure of the origin or the data.
Group Privacy Settings: On Whatsapp, only people with your phone number can add you to a group. WhatsApp’s group privacy settings and group invite system allow users to decide who can add them to groups. There’s a dedicated setting that will not allow anyone to add you to a group without your permission. Essentially, there are three options for every user:
'Everyone can add you to a group'
'Those you choose from your contacts.'
Leave Group Silently: When you choose to exit a group silently, it will not notify everyone in the chat thread but only the group admins. This feature aims to help users feel more comfortable about leaving groups they no longer wish to be in.
Admin control: By default, any group participants can send messages and change the group information including, the group subject, icon, or description. However, WhatsApp settings enable administrators to decide who can send messages within groups.
Fact-checking on WhatsApp: In India, there are 10 independent fact-checking organizations on WhatsApp that help users to identify, review, and verify the information and help prevent the spread of misinformation on its platform. Additionally, WhatsApp enables its users to verify the information by texting The Poynter Institute’s IFCN WhatsApp chatbot to validate a message or information. Users can make use of these avenues to ensure they are not spreading any false information.
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