Posted 5 years 11 months 2 weeks ago.

India is experiencing a data revolution. Ridiculously low data costs ($6 for 1.5GB data per day, for 3 months!) coupled with lack of education and common sense that is required to differentiate between what is a fact, what is not, has caused a situation that led to many lynchings and mob justice incidents in the recent past.

Here is a small list of changes, that shouldn’t be so hard for Whatsapp to implement, that can prevent many of such incidents.

1. Restrict the Forward button

Restrict the Forward Button to forward to individuals (less than 5), not to forward to groups or broadcasts.

That will be a good balance between totally removing the button making it a hassle to share a received message with someone else and allowing the button to exist in its current form that is abused heavily for sending good morning and good night messages, as well as organizing lynchings and spreading false information.

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2. Give more powers to Group admins

Currently, WhatsApp group admins can’t do the following, which should be changed, allowing group admins to be able to control spam and malicious messages being spread in groups. Allow group admins to:

  • Delete any group member’s messages in the group, at any time and not just in the first X minutes.

  • Allow an option to delete all messages posted in the group from a specific group member in the past one day or one week, in one click.

Telegram gives amazing tools and capabilities to group admins and moderators to contain spam and false information.   

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3. Restrict pasting text into WhatsApp

While restricting the ‘forward button’ is great, people can get around it by copy-pasting instead of forwarding. Example: Currently WhatsApp shows a “forwarded” label for forwarded messages. The same label is not shown if the user copy-pastes the message instead of using the forward button. So it is equally important to impose such restrictions on copy-paste capabilities as well.

Any copy-pasted message (that is not typed out character by character in the keyboard), shouldn’t be allowed to be posted on groups of broadcasts.

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Such capabilities are not super complicated to build and roll out. For a team like that of WhatsApp, it could be a matter of a couple of weeks of development. Whatsapp, for whatever reasons, does not want to do such things to restrict spam but puts up a false facade by putting up ads on newspapers preaching how to limit false information. Enough of shit show, WhatsApp. Get your things right.



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Submitted by tanay on Mon, 08/06/2018 - 01:25