By Ankita Garg: Social media platforms have undoubtedly revolutionized communication, enabling people to connect with their loved ones. However, alongside the benefits, these platforms also serve as conduits for spreading rumors and misleading information. The government takes the responsibility of tracking and debunking such fake news seriously. Now, the government’s official Twitter channel, PIB Fact Check, has released a statement to counter a misleading claim circulating on social media channels.
The claim in question suggested that the Government of India was monitoring and reading individual messages on WhatsApp. PIB Fact Check tweeted an image to clarify that these assertions were false. The image displayed various indicators used by WhatsApp to signify different message statuses. For instance, a single tick indicates that a message has been sent, while two blue ticks confirm that the message has been read. These are well-known features of the messaging platform.
However, the miscreants behind the misleading claim added additional indicators to create confusion. According to their concocted information, three blue ticks were meant to imply that the government had taken note of the message, while a combination of two blue and one red tick indicated that the government could take action against the sender. Moreover, a combination of one blue and two red ticks allegedly indicated that the government was scrutinizing the sender’s data. Lastly, the claim stated that three red ticks meant that the government had initiated legal action, and the sender would receive a court summons.
The crucial fact to remember is that the official WhatsApp platform does not use red ticks for message status. Instead, it employs grey ticks that turn blue when a recipient reads the message. Therefore, any image suggesting red ticks on WhatsApp and government monitoring is unequivocally fake.
PIB Fact Check clarified that the Government of India does not monitor private messages on WhatsApp or any other social media platform. There is no initiation of action based solely on the content of personal messages. Furthermore, the Supreme Court of India has previously stated that WhatsApp messages hold no evidential value, reinforcing the point that such claims are baseless.
In an era where misinformation can spread like wildfire, it is crucial to remain vigilant and verify information from credible sources before sharing or believing it. Fact-checking initiatives like PIB Fact Check play a vital role in countering fake news and promoting a more informed and responsible use of social media platforms.