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WhatsApp Has Brought False Problems Worldwide. Now, It’s settled in One.


Photos of Michael Reynolds / Getty

A few hours after WhatsApp has announced a new privacy policy for the nearly 2 billion people worldwide who use it, the rumors were rampant.

“Don’t receive new WhatsApp updates,” said one message spread on the platform. “Once done, your WhatsApp account will be linked to your Facebook account and Zuckerberg will be able to view all your conversations.”

“In a few months, WhatsApp will launch a new feature that will show you ads based on your chat,” said another. “Don’t accept the new policy!”

Thousands of similar messages were sent back to WhatsApp, a one-time Facebook app, in the coming days. Led by celebrities such as Tesla CEO Elon Musk and whistleblower Edward Snowden, millions of people he ran downloading other WhatsApp channels such as Signal and Telegraph.

There was only one problem: From the 4,000 rules, it was clear that the new updates would only apply if people use WhatsApp to chat with businesses, not private conversations with friends and relatives.

No, these new terms will not allow Facebook to read your WhatsApp chats, the company explained to anyone who could ask. Top leaders were sent long threads go to Twitter and give interviews to major media in India, the largest market for the company. WhatsApp has ruined millions by buying ads on the front page in major newspapers as well published photos publishing a rumor on its page with the big “Share on WhatsApp” button, hoping to put some truth into the false news that runs across the platform. The company also encouraged Facebook employees to share infographics, according to a post from their internal forum at Workplace.

“There has been a lot of lies and confusion so we are working to find out more about how WhatsApp protects social networking,” a WhatsApp spokesman told BuzzFeed News. “We use our interface to communicate with people on WhatsApp, as well as to send accurate messages to our TV and website in many languages. We have obviously provided this to people who work for our company so that they can answer questions directly to friends and relatives if they wish. . “

Nothing worked.

“There have been a lot of lies that cause concern and we want to help everyone understand our principles and facts,” WhatsApp wrote in blog post last week announced that the company would be delaying the new privacy policy for three months. “We will also do our best to spread false information about privacy and security on WhatsApp,” he wrote.

Thanks to everyone who arrived. We are still working to address any disruptions by communicating with @WhatsApp users. No one can have their account suspended or removed on Feb. 8 and we will return our comments until May –


Over the years, rumors and lies spread through WhatsApp have been added to the false alarms in some of the most populous countries in the world such as Brazil and India where the program is the first means of mass communication. Now, the problem has reached the company.

“Reliance on the platform is [at a] rock, “Claire Wardle, author and director of the Draft, a nonprofit organization that investigates fraud, told BuzzFeed News.” That is why when privacy rules are changed, people worry about what this means. ”

Wardle said people are concerned that WhatsApp will connect their systems to the app with notifications coming from their Facebook accounts.

“Facebook and WhatsApp have a lot of confidence,” said Pratik Sinha, founder of Alt News, India’s flagship company. “Once you have it, any type of lie you are given is easily eliminated.”

Unsurprisingly, Sinha and Wardle added, with an understanding among the general public about how technology and privacy work. “There is chaos where false history is growing,” Wardle said, “which is why people have seen a change in the law, a leap, and not surprisingly, a lot of people have believed the rumors.”

These types of lies that have been growing on WhatsApp for many years cause problems. In 2013, the film spread to Muzaffarnagar, a city in northern India that reportedly showed two young men being arrested, sparking clashes between Hindu and Muslim groups over the deaths. A a police investigation has been found The film was over two years old and had not been shot in India. In Brazil, false news flooded the tower and was used to favor the right-wing candidate Jair Bolsonaro, who won the 2018 general election.

But the company did not solve their fraudulent problem until 2018, when rumors of child abuse on the platform brought a list of violent lynchings across India. In a statement issued at the time, the IT ministry in India was warned WhatsApp is about the lawsuit and said the company will “ignore them” if it does not solve the problem, and send WhatsApp in trouble. It took officials from Menlo Park, California, their headquarters in New Delhi to meet with government officials and the media, and launched a campaign to spread false information.

Photos of Sam Panthaky / Getty

July 2018 condemns terrorists in India. Many people were tortured across the country last year thanks to WhatsApp rumors, which left Indian officials and WhatsApp rushing to find an answer.

It also developed new features in the program to eliminate errors for the first time, such as writing a sent message and restraint the number of individuals or groups that can be deployed to reduce the number of viruses. In August last year, that he too began allowing people in a few countries to post a message on Google to see if the developer was a liar. This article is not available for WhatsApp users in India here.

Since then, the company has been working on a tool that would allow users to search for images they have received in the app with one sign in 2019, a move that can help people to visualize more easily. But almost two years later, there is no sign, although the term is found in more than a dozen countries that did not include India.

“We’re still working on search tools,” a WhatsApp spokesman told BuzzFeed News.

WhatsApp says the company wants to make it clear about its new privacy policy. “We would also like to emphasize that this does not increase our ability to share data with Facebook. Our goal is to provide transparency and new options that can be used by businesses to help their customers grow,” the spokesman said. “WhatsApp always protects personal information and hides end to end so that WhatsApp or Facebook does not detect it. We work hard to deal with lies and to be prepared to answer any questions. ”

This week, the company posted a Status, WhatsApp message similar to the Facebook account, at the top of the Humanities section. Setting Culture revealed a number of messages from the company refuting rumors.

Images of BuzzFeed News

“WhatsApp does not share Facebook,” the former said. Two other Status updates revealed that WhatsApp is unable to see where people are and cannot read or listen to their private conversations. “We are committed to your privacy,” the final message said.

On Thursday, staff members had several questions for Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg ahead of the week before Q&A, according to an internal link to BuzzFeed News. Some want to know if the Signal and Telegram move affects WhatsApp usage and its size. Some want the CEO to indicate if Facebook uses any metadata from WhatsApp advertising.

“Do you think we could have done a better job of explaining it so clearly? [the new privacy policy] to users? someone asked.

“People are angry @ WhatsApp PrivPolicy for a change,” someone replied. “The suspicion on FB is so high we have to be very careful in this regard.”

Mr Zuckerberg responded that he did not think the company had taken good care of the changes.

“The short answer is no, I don’t think we did it the way we should,” he said. “And I think the team has already done all that – and has a few lessons to make sure we’re doing a better job, not just WhatsApp TOS. But you know, we have some TOS updates for various apps and functions. And we have to make sure we’re doing well on In this way, we reduce the amount of misconceptions that are made – and the amount of – and reduce the amount of confusion that arises. ”

Ryan Mac provided the reports.


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