Do 3 Ticks Mean Govt Read Your Message? Old Hoax Goes Viral Again
A false message about the government monitoring social media communication is being widely shared on WhatsApp.
A viral message on WhatsApp claims that all communication on social media – including those on WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram – will be monitored by the government. It specifies that these “new communication rules for WhatsApp and WhatsApp calls (voice and video calls) will be implemented from tomorrow (sic)”.
The message proceeds to warn users against posting anything against the prime minister or the government as it would put them at the risk of getting arrested without a warrant. It also describes the introduction of a new system of colour-coded tick marks on messages that would show that the government had “taken note of your message” and action can be taken against the sender.
We found that this message has no truth to it and variations of this message have been on the internet since at least 2017.
Screenshots of the viral claim as circulated on WhatsApp can be seen here.
The claim was seen on Facebook and Twitter as well.
WHAT WE FOUND
WhatsApp elaborates on its end-to-end encryption feature developed with Open Whisper Systems on its website too, guiding users to an in-depth explanation of the same.
COLOUR-CODED TICK MARKS
As per WhatsApp's website, the platform only uses three kinds of check marks – single grey tick, which means that your message has been sent; double grey tick, which means the message has been delivered to the recipient’s phone; and double blue tick, meaning the message has been read.
There is no new tick or rule implemented by WhatsApp in this regard.
WHAT IS GOING ON WITH WHATSAPP?
According to The Information Technology Intermediary (Guidelines and Digital Ethics Code) Rules, 2021, social media organisations are required to trace and identify the origin or the first sender of a message on their platforms. The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, along with the Ministry of Infromation and Broadcasting set up these new guidelines for social media platforms, setting 25 May as the last date for compliance.
On 25 May, WhatsApp sued the Government of India stating that complying with these new rules would violate its privacy and security policies, while also affecting Indian citizens' fundamental Right To Privacy.
Clearly, this text has been on the internet for a few years and is reshared every now and then, with slight variations.
Subscribe To Our Daily Newsletter And Get News Delivered Straight To Your Inbox.