New Delhi: WhatsApp on Wednesday announced a tweak in its privacy setting which will allow users to choose who from their contact list can add them to a group chat. This is an upgrade to the privacy setting announced in April.
“One of the pieces of feedback we've heard is that people want more control over who can add them to groups. This helps prevent people from getting unwanted messages including viral information that can spread through groups. Today, we are introducing a new setting and invite system that will further empower users to have more control over the group messages they receive," the platform said in a blogpost.
Users can access privacy settings to select one of the three options— ‘Everyone’, ‘My Contacts,’ or ‘My Contacts Except’. ‘My Contacts’ means only users you have in your address book can add you to groups and ‘My Contacts Except’ provides additional control for who among your contacts can add you to a group. In such cases, an admin who can’t add a user to a group will be prompted to send a private invite through an individual chat, giving the choice of joining the group. The invite will expire in three days.
“With these new features, users will have more control over the group messages they receive," WhatsApp added.
The new privacy settings were rolled out for some users Wednesday, and will be available worldwide in the coming weeks to those using the latest version of WhatsApp.
Among many other concerns around misinformation and privacy, the Indian government has been asking WhatsApp to ensure consent of users before they are added to group chats.
Facebook-owned WhatsApp announced the launch of an India-focused fact-checking feature to combat fake news and rumours in the run-up to the Lok Sabha elections. Users can report unconfirmed information or rumours they receive to a WhatsApp number (+91-9643-000-888) and check its authenticity.
Last year, WhatsApp faced severe criticism over lynching incidents that allegedly were the result of fake news shared on the platform. Under pressure to curb fake messages, the US company named Abhijit Bose as the head of WhatsApp India. It also named Komal Lahiri as the grievance officer for India.