The Hindu Business Line

WhatsApp moves to secure group chats


WhatsApp on Wednesday said it will now allow its users to decide whether they want to get added to groups on the instant messaging platform.

The move assumes significan­ce, especially ahead of elections, as social media platforms are expected to play a major role in political campaigns to reach out to citizens in large numbers.

The messaging app has introduced a new privacy setting, in which an invite system will help users decide who can add them to groups.

Previously, WhatsApp users could be added to groups without their consent.

To enable the feature, users can go to the settings option in the app and select one of three options — ‘nobody’, ‘my contacts’, or ‘everyone’. If they choose nobody, users will have to approve joining every group to which they are invited.

Upon choosing the contacts option, users from the person’s address book will be able to add them to groups.

In these cases, the person inviting the user to a group will be prompted to send a private invite through an individual chat.

The user will be given three days to accept the invite before it expires, the statement said.

“With these new features, users will have more control over the group messages they receive,” WhatsApp said.

These new privacy settings will begin rolling out to some users starting Wednesday, and will be available worldwide in the coming weeks to those using the latest version of the app, it added.

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