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WhatsApp Is Considering The Addition Of A New Feature, Through Which Admins Can Now Delete Messages Across Their Groups

WhatsApp is integrating a new feature, via which admins have the ability to delete messages for the entire group, as spotted by WABI.

This sounds like a spectacularly bad idea to this particular writer, for reasons that I’ll elaborate on later. For now, let’s just discuss the update. The ability to delete messages is something that WhatsApp keeps tinkering around with in its beta releases, with not all major updates or changes necessarily being implemented. For example, each updated played around with how long users were allowed to wait before messages on groups could no longer be deleted. In update 2.21.23.1, however, WhatsApp’s Devs made it so that users could delete messages in groups whenever they’d like to, completely removing the initial seven-minute time constraint that everyone had to adhere to. Overall, this seems like a pretty good idea, since it allows users the freedom to express themselves as they’d like. Pretty sure problems arise when messages need to presented as a form of evidence and psych! They’ve disappeared. Then again, there’s only so many bases that one can cover.

In the latest WhatsApp beta, entitled 2.22.11 (which is also the first beta primed for a 2022 release), a new delete message feature is being introduced. Now, group admins can delete any and all messages on groups indiscriminately. While time limits obviously aren’t known yet, what with the beta being nowhere near a full public release, it can be assumed that much like previous updates on deleting messages, admins will be able to do so at their leisure. No time constraints applied, and all that jazz. However, there come some rather obvious issues with such a feature; more specifically, the issue of censorship.

WhatsApp groups aren’t quite like subreddits or any such forums. They’re not sprawling like Facebook groups, and even when they are, people typically tend to know each other to some extent from real life interactions. That’s because WhatsApp groups are formed via phone numbers. Those typically require users to have had personal contact before sharing. Now, granting an admin the ability to delete everyone’s messages, and that admin also being someone that is well known to the rest of the group, is just a recipe for disaster. It allows for pettiness from the admins, it allows for real life reactions from other participants. This is the sort of authority that WhatsApp groups can very much do without, since admins cannot just be granted the ability to censor their known relations willy nilly.

It’s a silly idea to implement, and I really hope that WhatsApp doesn’t end up doing so.


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