Three red ticks: message claiming the government can read WhatsApp chats is fake
The viral message claimed that the government is reading WhatsApp messages, this is fake news
A text messaging app is going viral on WhatsApp, stating that the government is taking notice of messages on the platform. According to the claim, the three red ticks on a message means that “the government has initiated action and you will receive summons from the court”.
“#FakeNewsAlert! Messages reading regarding WhatsApp information about ‘tick mark’ on social media is #FAKE. #PIBFactCheck: No! The government is doing no such thing. The message is #FAKE. Beware of rumors!” PIB Fact Check wrote on Twitter.
#Fake News Alert !
Beware of rumours! pic.twitter.com/GAGEnbOLdY
— PIB Fact Check (@PIBFactCheck) April 7, 2020
According to the viral message, WhatsApp has implemented a new tick system that allows users to find out if the messages they are sending are being viewed by the government or if the government can take action against the sender.
When a user sends a message, one tick means the message has been sent, two ticks means the message has been delivered, and two blue ticks means that the message has been read by the receiver. While listing this information, the viral message claims that:
- Three blue ticks means that the government has taken note of your message.
- Two blue and one red tick means that the government can take action against the sender
- One blue and two red ticks means the government is checking the sender’s data
- Three red ticks mean that the government has started action and the sender will receive a summons from the court.
WhatsApp has not provided information about any such feature and as PIB tweeted, the government is not doing anything of the kind. Furthermore, since WhatsApp is encrypted end-to-end, neither the government nor WhatsApp can read any message being sent to Facebook-owned platforms. Therefore, the message is nothing but fake news.
WhatsApp has become a breeding ground for misinformation and the application is trying to stop the threat of fake news on its platform. It lowered the forwarding limit to five chats at a time and recently, it reduced the limit of frequently forwarded messages in one chat at a time.