Whatsapp fiasco: Exercise common sense and logic

Apr 30, 2017
Refrain from sharing the fake viral message that the government is monitoring your calls and conversations. Photo from Digital Trends.com

1. With regards to a fake viral message being circulated on messaging applications and social media, the Home Ministry recently clarified it has not come up with any “peraturan komunikasi baru” (new communication rules). The ministry issued a statement on this on Apr 14, 2017: “KDN ingin memaklumkan bahawa tidak pernah mengeluarkan sebarang peraturan komunikasi baru termasuklah merakam semua panggilan telefon atau memantau media sosial di kalangan orang ramai di negara ini.”

2. Your Whatsapp conversations are private. Your phone’s software is not hooked up to the government for them to read every single Good Morning, Good Afternoon, Good Night messages you are sending.

3. Whatsapp group administrators will not automatically go to jail the second someone posts something offensive in group chats.

4. The Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) will only act upon complaints, for instance: a member/administrator in a Whatsapp group posts something offensive and another member/administrator lodges a report or if someone screenshots the offensive message and it goes viral and someone lodges a report.

5. “Investigations will only be conducted if there are complaints made regarding the content shared within these groups” – statement by MCMC as published by The Star in a news article titled “MCMC: Whatsapp members and admins are accountable” on Apr 28, 2017.

6. There is no known monitoring of Whatsapp group postings 24 hours a day as alleged in the fake viral message. Whatsapp is secured by end-to-end encryption. Take some time to read the Whatsapp FAQ (frequently asked questions) on this. “WhatsApp’s end-to-end encryption ensures only you and the person you’re communicating with can read what is sent, and nobody in between, not even WhatsApp.”

7. With regards to group administrators, MCMC said they will be held responsible “if they make a comment, request, suggestion or other communication that is obscene, offensive, false, threatening or irritating with the intention to hurt, abuse, threaten or harass others. They will also be held accountable if they ask for such comments from other members in the group, as well as if they incite any other person in the group to make such comments. Any group administrator who obstructs an investigation by any enforcement agency will also be culpable.” – The Star, “MCMC: Whatsapp members and admins are accountable”, Apr 28, 2017.

8. Kindly refrain from sharing the fake viral message that says the government is monitoring your calls and conversations. You will only have to worry about your conversations being monitored if you are the target of a hacker or maybe if you’re a spy. If you believe the contents of the fake message, there is a chance you may suffer from paranoia, which means it is advisable for you to abandon all smartphones and go back to the old method of communication, tie a note to a pigeon. Thank you. This is a community service message brought to you by logic and common sense.