A WhatsApp message is doing the rounds claiming that the government may have control over users’ WhatsApp. This is a false message as WhatsApp has not made any changes to its system and the government does not have access to anyone’s WhatsApp. The message reads – “Two blue ticks, and one red tick means the government can take action, while three red ticks will mean the government has started court proceedings against you.” This comes amid an ongoing legal fight between the government and WhatsApp over the Facebook-owned instant messaging app’s latest terms of service and the government’s recently-introduced IT rules in the country.
The fake WhatsApp message has been circulated among many WhatsApp groups. It falsely claims that WhatsApp is bringing new communication rules for messages and calls that will connect devices to the government. The fake message also mentions that the new system will allow the law enforcement authorities to take action against people posting messages and videos that are critical of the government. All of this is false information as there is no change in WhatsApp’s system. It is also important to note that WhatsApp uses end-to-end encryption for private chats so no one, including WhatsApp can read your conversations on the messaging platform – not even the government.
Now, such WhatsApp messages are commonplace in today’s time. A similar message was doing the rounds on WhatsApp around last year as well with similar claims of “red ticks” indicating government action against WhatsApp users.
WhatsApp users are advised not to forward such messages to their contacts. Given the timing of this message, it is easy for users to believe the message as WhatsApp is defending itself from the government’s action against the messaging platform, in lieu of the Indian government’s latest IT guidelines.