A new video of a woman warning netizens in Telugu that their WhatsApp activity is under scrutiny by the police and that they should restrain from sharing messages on the social platform is making the rounds now. The person by name Mythili Srinidhi speaks in this tik-tok video warning netizens that their activity is under watch and explains how. See the video:
The video sent to Digiteye India by a reader asking whether it is true or not has been taken up for fact check by the team. The woman in video warns people that there’s a new security measure in WhatsApp which means that the government is monitoring your messages and action will be taken if you spread misinformation and violate any norms.
“If there are three blue ticks, it means that the Government has read your messages and found nothing wrong. If you get two blue ticks and a red tick, it means that the Government has read the message and the Police will soon arrest you. Beware of it,” she says in Telugu, sending a clear sense of fear among the viewers.
The person in the video is Mythili Srinidhi Sreetan and her tik tok videos in Telugu are familiar on Youtube. In fact, the message is not new and it’s been making the round on WhatsApp for some time. See the chart that has been shared with us claiming that the new feature is coming into existence in view of the coronavirus outbreak in the country.
In a search on this message, the government’s PIB Fact Check message on Twitter has clarified on April 7, 2020 that the government is not doing such thing. Here’s the message:
#Fake News Alert !
Beware of rumours! pic.twitter.com/GAGEnbOLdY
— PIB Fact Check (@PIBFactCheck) April 7, 2020
Further, the spokesperson for WhatsApp has categorically denied any such red tick feature in a reply to fact checking organization BOOMlive. “A rumour that the Indian government can read your messages and the ‘police will arrest you soon’ is floating around. We’ve seen this before (in 2015) though wanted to flag in case it picks up given WhatsApp and the Government of India is in the news this week!”
He further said: “The privacy of our users is very important to WhatsApp. Every message and call is secured by end-to-end encryption so that no third parties, not even WhatsApp, can read or listen to your conversations. In addition, WhatsApp never displays three checkmarks in message chats.”
Conclusion: This message is on the same lines as many such WhatsApp shares claiming that everything you do on social media is being monitored and that the group admins could be in trouble and face arrest. In some message, it was claimed that a new Ministry of Internal Regulation in India is entrusted to scrutinise such messages. The aim of the message is clearly to mislead people as there is no such ministry in the country. The claim in the video and the message is ??? Misrepresentational.