What's the strangest app you know

WhatsApp groups: Messenger supposedly secretly changes settings - that's a lie!

A confusing chain letter about an allegedly new spam setting in WhatsApp groups is currently around. We explain what you need to know.

You may have received a strange chain letter on WhatsApp yourself today. Accordingly, the news service changed a setting in the WhatsApp groups.

The chain letter states that WhatsApp has secretly carried out an update and now "Everyone" can add you to a WhatsApp group without you noticing and no longer just your contacts, as before.

Various publications have reported on this, including the digital blog des WDR. Only: the chain letter is not real.

Attitude in WhatsApp groups: what is it all about?

The viral chain letter claimed the following:

WhatsApp updated its settings last night without notifying users! It changed its group settings and added you to "everyone". This means that any WhatsApp user - even if you don't know them - can add you to any group without your knowledge and without your consent.

The consequence of such an attitude would be that you suddenly and without knowing it, belong to a group and are confronted with content that you did not want. This can be offensive content or just spam.

Only: The statements from this chain letter about the settings in the WhatsApp groups are incorrect. Like the fact checkers from Mimikama quickly made clear, this attitude has actually always existed as a basic attitude.

There was one change to that, however, as early as 2019. Then the setting was expanded so that users can choose whether they can be added to a group by “everyone” or just by your own contacts.

How to change your WhatsApp group setting

Before the current chain letter, many may not have known anything about this group setting. If you have now become aware of this and then want to change your settings so that not everyone can add you to a group, this can be done in just a few steps.

Because: That's true after all - the standard settings on WhatsApp are still configured in such a way that everyone can add you to groups. If you don't want that, you have to change it yourself.

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And that's how it works!

  1. Go to your settings using the three dots in the top right corner of the app.
  2. Select "Settings" here.
  3. Now go to "Account".
  4. Then select the "Privacy" option.
  5. Scroll down the screen until you see "Groups". Here you will see the setting "Everyone" underneath.
  6. If you now go to "Groups", you now have the option to change this to "My contacts" or "My contacts except" and thus prevent everyone from simply being able to add you to a group.

Note: If you have changed this setting in the past, updates on WhatsApp will not change this setting.

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