On January 31, 2021, fact-checkers at the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) spotted a trending voice note warning all WhatsApp users against clicking on the newly introduced status.
The voice note said: “an Arab guy” is behind the new WhatApps status update and any attempt to click on it would grand the “guy” access to all your photos.
It also said that all content accessed on the affected device (especially nudes) will be displayed to the public.
Also, the voice note advised listeners to forward the message to as many people as possible.
Checks by CDD show that the voice note circulated on WhatsApp is false.
Investigations by CDD fact-checkers revealed that WhatsApp has end-to-end encryption, preventing it from seeing or hearing the content, and delaying the implementation of the policy.
Further checks revealed that a WhatsApp spokesperson highlighted that there has been lots of disinformation and confusion around the recent update.
The company said it would want to help everyone understand the facts behind how WhatsApp protects people’s privacy and security as they plan to provide updates to people in the Status tab so people hear from WhatsApp directly.
CDD can confirm that the message about WhatsApp status introduced should not be clicked on is false.
The message which has confusion around the recent update WhatsApp is not true.
CDD urges members of the public to read beyond headlines before sharing any news report, especially on social media.
You can forward suspicious messages for verification via +2349062910568 or contact us on Twitter @CDDWestAfrica
Center for Democracy and Development West Africa| CDD West Africa