Forwarding messages on WhatsApp without being sure of it’s validity, has become a menace.

8 min


One online chatting application which is famous among people of all age spectrums is WhatsApp.

You’ll find you 13-year-old niece and your 80-year-old grandfather, both here. Long gone are the days when people used to call each other and even when it comes to texting people moved on from SMS messages to Emails to finally online applications like WhatsApp.

A little about the app:

WhatsApp was bought by Facebook recently is a “freeware and cross-platform messaging and Voice over IP service”. The application now features a variety of functions like sending text messages, voice messages, sending videos, voice calls, video calls, forwarding text messages, putting on statuses, stories and profile pictures, sending stickers and gifs, sending one’s location, creating contact groups with a huge number of people.

The last one is a process you might be the most familiar with, given that all of us are involved in a number of groups whether they are fun peer groups, professional workgroups or family groups. The one thing they all have in common is that we mute the group notifications as soon as we join a group. Come on, am I right or am I right?

WhatsApp Groups:

Groups are created by an admin who adds all the people who are fit for a particular group. For example, a class group would consist of your batch mates and your respective teacher, unlike family groups which consist of your relatives and other close family members.

The admin has the power to control who joins and leaves. The rest of the participants can change the name of the group and the picture and leave as they may. They might also be made into the admins by the current admin of the group.

ALSO READ: Why you should learn an additional language with your regular studies?

Information Circulated in the Groups:

Apart from the general “Aur batao” and the cringe-worthy good morning texts on groups, the most common messages in circulation are the informative messages claiming to contain warnings and important pieces of valid information.

It is a shame that our generation depends on the internet as it’s sole medium of information without considering the validity of the sources of information. Just like Open Source websites open, the messages on WhatsApp chain that we without a second thought whatsoever so easily forward to each other are open to all to write.

Now you might ask how is it possible to check the validity of all the messages given of a plethora of information that it is online. Understanding how this concern is the time of the need Facebook released the following list of tips on how to spot fake news:

1. Understand when a message is forwarded
2. Question information that upsets you
3. Check the information that seems unbelievable
4. Look out for messages that look different
5. Check photos in messages carefully
6. And check links too
7. Use other sources
8. Be thoughtful about what you share
9. You can control what you see
10. Fake news often goes viral

Such information was published in key newspapers to help citizens gather information on this new kind of a digital evil or as we may call it “menace”.

It is important for us to understand that false information is more dangerous than no information.

When we read and pass on news that is untrue it creates an opinion about the issue concerned that may lead people to behave in certain ways towards it and misguided actions have never done anyone any good.

False news on this medium has also been associated with incidents of beating and lynching which are basically a sign of how pervasive the medium has become among the masses.

Given how technology will only progress in the time to come, there is a very high possibility that some we will all be consumed by online information, therefore being wise about it becomes more and more the need of the time.

Always question the credibility of a message before you act upon it and form an opinion about it but thoughts result into actions and actions result in chaos when based on misinformation.

Go tell your Dadu, Dadi, Bhai, Behen, coworkers, classmates to not circulate messages if they in any way are unsure about its validity. The Internet is a zone of interaction, hence a sphere of society one can say, it is important that we aim to make the virtual world just as safe as we aim to make the real one.

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Picture Credit: Google Images

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