The police are issuing warnings to `admins’ of chat groups on the messaging app WhatsApp that they should ensure that no objectionable content is circulated on the group.
Admins or administrators are the ones who control who can be part of a WhatsApp chat group. Multiple persons can be admins for one group.
Posts on WhatsApp groups should not have any derogatory content — text, pictures or audio and video clips — about iconic or historical figures, places of worship, anything that may hurt religious sentiments, or anything promoting “sedition” or social disharmony. If any admin finds such a post on the group, it should be reported to police.
Even to forward such a content is a crime.
- Always keep to the purpose of the group! Don’t share irrelevant messages about other topics.
- Do not spam the group! If you would like a group to share memes, adverts or deals with then set one up for that exact purpose and invite others to join.
- Don’t be offended if others leave. Not everyone wants the same information.
- Do politely excuse yourself before you leave a group.
- Post your message in one single chunk of text, don’t post every word or sentence in a new message.
- If you’re lurking in a group chat and ‘seeing’ every message, occasionally respond with *something* to remove the stalker vibe that inevitably develops.
- Don’t create huge groups.
- Don’t create groups with minors who don’t know each other – no parent wants their kids talking to strangers.
- Do not have one-on-one conversations in the group. Switch to private messages.
- Do not post in any group between 21:00 and 07:00 unless it is an all-out emergency. By emergency, we mean the “blood, floods, and broken bones” type of emergency, not the “I needed the scone recipe at 2am because I had the munchies” type of emergency.
- If a message asks for a positive response like an RSVP, don’t reply in the negative. Only say if you are able to attend. Don’t double RSVP if a second call to action is sent out for the same event.
- If someone asks a question and you don’t know the answer don’t respond with “I don’t know”. Just wait for someone who knows the answer to reply.
- Please don’t send in a hundred “thank you” messages. If you feel gratitude towards someone – tell them in a private message.
- If someone asks a question of a personal nature (like asking for advice) don’t respond if someone else has already answered, or else respond to the person directly in a private message.
- The group is not a political platform (unless you have specifically set it up for this purpose) No arguing, no heated opinions, no fear mongering, no hyped up drama, no fake news. Check your sources before you share.
- Never EVER use a group to berate someone else or air grievances. If you have an issue address it one on one with the relevant person.
- Don’t add random people to a close-knit group.
- Always ask someone if you may add them before you add them.
- Don’t send data-insensitive messages. No-one wants their last 3GB used up on uninvited memes.
- When the group has served its purpose (the hike is over) delete it.
- Hit “Mute” on your Whatsapp group (unless you’re part of an emergency rescue group). This is a sanity saver. You will still receive all the messages, but your phone won’t buzz or make a noise for every one of them.
If you are not sure, ask yourself these three questions before you post:
- Is this relevant?
- Is this necessary?
- Is this a good time to post?
Stay aware and be safe.
Share this article with the Whatsapp group admins you know.