WhatsApp group names generally come in two flavours: vanilla and attempts at humour. Not all those attempts at humour are good-natured, though.
With this in mind, WhatsApp have begun acting to try and punish those group names which have crossed the line. WhatsApp have begun banning users for group names that don’t comply with their terms of service.
WABetaInfo, which has become a trusted source for upcoming WhatsApp changes, has reported that several users have complained about not being able to access the application.
WhatsApp have taken the slightly unusual route of not just shutting down the offending groups, but they have also banned group members.
The decision makes sense to an extent if the offending group name points to the possibility of illegal content. One such example saw an entire group banned for being part of a university WhatsApp group named “chld prn”.
IN BAD TASTE
The members of the group claim that one of the admins changed the name as a joke, though I’m sure I’m not the only one who fails to see the humour in it.
Another group named “something illegal” suffered a similar fate and users have reported that groups with as many as 100 participants have had all their members banned from WhatsApp.
Users who were banned have reported that they were unable to log into the app and that any attempt to contact Whatsapp was met with an automated message.
Many affected users claim that they had no control over the naming of the groups and were now suffering as a result of poor judgement by group admins.
CLEANING UP THE PLATFORM
It looks as though WhatsApp would have automatically done the clean up on group names.
Their zero-tolerance approach has upset a lot of users and the only recourse for those banned it seems would be to move to another platform or change their phone numbers.
With a number of users claiming to have been banned as a result of other people’s actions, the best bet going forward will be to be a lot more selective about the groups you decide to join.
HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO DO
Affected users claim that admins have changed the names of the groups they belonged to after they joined, so it’s probably a good idea to steer clear of groups with a lot of admins especially if you don’t know all of them.
If you’re currently admin in a group, this might be a good time to go into your group settings and do a cleanup of admins who could potentially cause trouble for you and the other members of your group.
Additionally, ensure that you only allow admins to change the group name.
– The South African