WhatsApp is the go-to platform for communicating with people from around the world as it allows messaging, calling, video conferencing, all without having to leave the app. With more than 1.5 billion users, it is the ideal platform for spreading fake news and misinformation. During these sensitive times when the world is gripped in the fear of coronavirus, people are on edge and there's no room for panic - especially caused by fake news.
WhatsApp is doing its bit to curb the spread of misinformation on its platform by limiting forwards to one contact at a time and working closely with WHO to help its users get facts about coronavirus. But fake messages don't just stop overnight.
Govt. snooping on messages
Another hoax is making the rounds on WhatsApp, suggesting the Indian government is monitoring chats. WhatsApp came under scrutiny after it was revealed that 1,400 users were targeted using a sophisticated Israeli software Pegasus. Based on that, the hoax is building its claim of the Indian government snooping on users.
A viral message spotted on several WhatsApp groups claims that if a message receives more than two blue ticks when sent, it is proof that a government agency has read it. What's scarier in the message is that if the third blue tick is turned red, you're in trouble for the message that you just sent. The message goes on to state that the police will arrest you in case the message has two blue ticks followed by a red tick.
According to WhatsApp, there are only three indicators when a message is sent. The single tick means the message was successfully sent, two grey ticks means the message was delivered and two blue ticks mean the recipient has read your message. Anything beyond this is fake and there's no record of three ticks on a message anywhere on WhatsApp's official website.
Hence, the message making the rounds is false and baseless.