Ivan covers Big Tech, India, policy, AI, security, platforms, and apps for TNW. That's one heck of a mixed bag. He likes to say "Bleh." Ivan covers Big Tech, India, policy, AI, security, platforms, and apps for TNW. That's one heck of a mixed bag. He likes to say "Bleh."
WhatsApp’s group conversations can be awfully annoying when you’re dragged into them without your consent. It’s finally rolled out a fix for that, in the form of a new setting that lets you choose who can add you to group chats – and thankfully, there’s also a way to put a stop to this nonsense entirely.
Here’s how you can enable it:
- Open WhatsApp on your phone, and go to Settings > Accounts > Privacy.
- Tap on Groups, and select the option that suits you best. The first one will prompt the user adding you to first send an invitation that you can approve:
– Nobody (this prevents anyone from adding you to a group without an invitation)
– My contacts (only your contacts can add you to a group without an invitation)
– Anyone (Anyone can add you to a group without an invitation)If you value your privacy, you’ll want to select either of the first two options.
My colleague Abhimanyu and I can confirm that it’s fairly common in India for complete strangers to add you to their groups without your permission. The issue is more important now, since the national elections are coming up and political parties are actively using the platform to spread their propaganda.
It doesn’t hurt that this new setting can also help you stay out of aggravating group conversations with your extended family, and those toxic friends from college you thought you’d finally left behind.
just got added to this pro-BJP group on WhatsApp by someone I don't know/isn't in my contacts list. pic.twitter.com/5cHWJl5pEl
— Abhimanyu Ghoshal (@aghoshal) February 21, 2019
A whole group of random people got added to a WhatsApp group from @almayaUAE @elGrocer do you realize this gave us all access to hundreds of numbers?! Disgusting. pic.twitter.com/uMHeXuQEcC
— Safiyya Mansoor (@SafiyyaLM) March 26, 2019
The privacy setting is rolling out to some users today, and will be available worldwide in a few weeks.
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