How many WhatsApp groups are you a part of? How many times did the admin seek your permission before adding you to them?
Chances are that you are part of at least three groups and your permission was never sought before you were added to any of them.
While the instant connect that this platform provides is great, the flip side is the barrage of forwarded messages. Even before you can respond and exit the group, your number has been exposed to several others.
Taking note of this ‘menace’, the government has urged WhatsApp to introduce a feature that will require the user’s consent before they are added to any groups on the instant messaging platform.
An official from the Ministry of Electronics and IT (MeitY), in a report published in the Financial Express, said, “Following these complaints, MeitY wrote to WhatsApp. The social media app responded by saying that as per their policy, group admin must have the subject’s number stored in the phone book and if the subject exits the group twice, then he/she cannot be added a third time.”
Here are some things you could do:
1. While these groups can be annoying, muting them might help you. This way, you will never get a notification when a message is posted. When you click on the option to mute the group, you will be given three choices – 8 hours, 1 week, or 1 year.
2. You could block the person who adds you. While this will prevent the person from re-adding you to the group, it will also stop you from having a conversation with the person. Do note that there is no option to block a person from adding you to a group and continue to have personal conversations with them.
3. Another feature is that a person who has exited a group twice cannot be added again for a short time, and the time frame keeps extending after the person exits the group each time. While this is not a perfect solution, it might deter people from constantly adding you to groups.
4. Another recently added feature enables only the group admin to send out messages. This way, the number of messages and forwards that groups normally see, will be curtailed. So now, if you are part of a school group, only the group admin will be at liberty to post messages that need to be sent to others.
With over 60 billion messages being exchanged daily via this medium, it is imperative that a new feature that seeks permission from users before being added to groups is introduced.
(Edited by Shruti Singhal)