WhatsApp to give more power to group admins with 'Restricted Groups'

WhatsApp is testing 'Restricted Groups' feature that may allow admins to gag other users

WhatsApp Beta 2.17.430 Download Available with Restricted Groups Feature

Restricted groups feature was firstly reported on the iOS beta version and now it is also available for Android. We are unsure as to why WhatsApp has chose to let admins change the setting every 72 hours only, as this feature would only be more useful if the admins can impose restrictions as and when they want.

This new feature allows only the group administrators disable the chat for all the non-administrators from the group. Once a user is restricted, he or she can send the message to the admin via a new "Message Admin" button.

Admins, meanwhile, will be able to continue chatting as normal; everyone else will have to read their messages in silence. The app also has a PC version, but it does not come with so many features.

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Earlier this year, a Police Chief and a District Magistrate also issued an order saying that "There are several groups on social media which are named on news groups and also groups with other names which are propagating news and information which is not authentic". Further, WhatsApp will "WhatsApp will prevent the group creator to be deleted from the group by other administrators". For example, an intermediary like YouTube has no actual knowledge of the content of hundreds of hours of video being uploaded every hour; an ISP has no actual knowledge of illegal content being sent through their pipes. So once WhatsApp group administrators have tools to check misinformation and rogue members, they may also be obligated to keep the group clean.

However, it is likely that in India, group admins might still be protected. Actual knowledge had to be affirmed via a court order asking for a takedown. "The administrators will be able to choose if other participants can modify the subject of the group, its icon and its description", the report added. If the members want to send a message to the group, they will have to message the admin using the "Message Admin" option. After that they will not be able to delete that message. And as we have heard it again and again, with great power comes great responsibility.

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