WhatsApp, along with Facebook, Instagram and Facebook Messenger suffered a glitch for several hours on Wednesday night. Now there are WhatsApp messages doing rounds that this is because India is banning WhatsApp use between 11.30pm and 6am. The message is fake.
- WhatsApp and other Facebook apps suffered some downtime on Wednesday night due to server issues.
- Many people are now claiming that WhatsApp was down because its use has been banned in India from 11.30pm to 6am.
- These messages are signed by Google and are fake. Don’t believe them.
Such are the times we live in that some people are using WhatsApp downtime that the app suffered on July 3 night to spread mischievous rumours, and possibly panic. In messages — there are several versions — shared on WhatsApp, some people are claiming that WhatsApp was down in India between 11.30pm and 6am on July 3 night and July 4 evening because, in India, WhatsApp use is going to be restricted in the night.
These messages are inaccurate as well as completely fabricated because WhatsApp was down on July 3 because of glitches in Facebook servers. In fact, even during the problem with the service WhatsApp messages were going through. It was just that users were unable to download any media file, such as a photo or an audio clip sent to them. The problem was largely reported from South America and Europe but there were enough users in India as well who suffered the problem to make the issue a talk on Indian Twitter.
Given that the problem was with Facebook servers, Facebook website, Instagram and Facebook Messenger too suffered from it.
Facebook later said, “Earlier today, some people and businesses experienced trouble uploading or sending images, videos and other files on our apps and platforms. The issue has since been resolved and we should be back at 100 per cent for everyone. We’re sorry for any inconvenience.”
However, the WhatsApp downtime has not gone unnoticed among trolls, or among people who can’t differentiate facts from fantasy. This morning many WhatsApp users in India have received messages telling them that the WhatsApp downtime was due to new Modi government policy that will ban WhatsApp in India during 11.30pm to 6am daily.
There are several variants of the messages. While one claims that WhatsApp is going to be banned in India due to govt policy, another one claims that the outage was due to “some inconvenience in our satellite connection” and that downloading of photos, videos and audio clips etc has been disabled in WhatsApp for one week. Interestingly the message has been signed by Google, which has nothing to do with WhatsApp.
Another message notes that if anyone tries to use WhatsApp between 11.30pm and 6am, they will be fined Rs 499 by the Indian government.
It is possible that these messages originated as some sort of harmless prank or joke but apparently, evening joking in today’s world can lead to some unintended consequences. It seems that there are enough WhatsApp users who have been fooled into believing that these messages are accurate and they, in turn, are forwarding them to the WhatsApp groups they belong to, or to their friends family members.
But now that you have learnt that these WhatsApp messages are fake, ignore them. Neither WhatsApp is blocked or banned in India, nor you will have to pay any fine to use it.
(This story originally appeared on IndiaToday)
Categories: Social Media