The Jakarta Post
The Restricted Groups feature, currently disabled by default, will be available via updated iOS and Android versions in the near future. (Shutterstock/File)
WhatsApp’s new Restricted Groups feature allows admins to be the only ones sending messages while everyone else in the group is forced to stop chatting. Everyone else will only be able to read messages sent by the group admin.
This means group members can be silenced for days at a time. The setting disables all chat functions for non-admins, who won’t be able to send messages, images, videos, GIFs, documents or voice messages, or share their location.
If a non-admin really needs to contribute to the discussion, he or she can do so by using the Message Admin button. The admin will have to approve this contribution before it can be sent to the rest of the group.
While the feature could be useful when an important message needs to be sent, it is also likely to be abused by group admins, who have a tool at their disposal to silence and annoy group members.
The Restricted Groups feature, currently disabled by default, will be available via updated iOS and Android versions in the near future. It can currently be tested by signing up to the beta version of WhatsApp. (afr/kes)