Fact Check: WhatsApp and Government to Monitor Chats and Record Calls

A viral message has been doing round on social media platforms, claiming that all communication on social media including WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter is going to be monitored by the government, specifying that the “new communication rules for WhatsApp and WhatsApp calls (voice and video calls) will be implemented from tomorrow”.

The Fake Message

The message furthers alerts the users not to post anything against the Prime Minister and the government. The message also describes the introduction of a new system of color coded 3 tick marks, which would mean “the government took note of the message” and action can be taken against the sender of the message.

We at News Sense received the message from our readers and started our investigation as we found there are several discrepancies in the said message and almost all the points seems baseless. So we started our investigation first by checking WhatsApp privacy policy. We do not found any match with the message that has been doing rounds in the social media platforms. WhatsApp also in its verified refuted the claim saying, we continue to protect your private messages with end-to-end encryption.

In view of the Centre’s new IT Rules 2021 where several online platforms have been directed to comply in order to check the menance of fake message and other regulation on contents of the OTT platforms and yes the social media platforms operating in India will have to implement the new Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics code) Rules 2021. The government has given Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Koo to comply within 3 months.

After verifying the fact with WhatsApp and IT Rules 2021, we tried to find out any stand of the Government of India on the viral messages that has been shared and reshared by people on social media platform. We come across, The Press Information Bureau in April 2020 had refuted similar WhatsApp surveillance claim back. Here it is.

Thus going by our own investigation, we can say that the viral post or message that has been doing round on social media is fake, but for every individual it is important to protect privacy data, so that no government on social media platforms can control you using your own data.

Claim: New Communication Rules for WhatsApp and WhatsApp Call, which are to be monitored and recorded by the Government

Conclusion: No one is monitoring your WhatsApp, as it is still end to end encrypted. Government is not banning WhatsApp and Facebook.

NB: Don’t share or forward any misleading information on your social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter, and WhatsApp, by doing so you are also becoming someone, who is creating panic and confusion among the larger mass and this is a punishable offense.