A new WhatsApp privacy setting lets you control who can add you to message groups without your permission. The updated settings were first rolled out to Android and iOS WhatsApp users worldwide on Sunday. “As people turn to groups for important conversations, users have asked for more control over their experience,” a WhatsApp spokesperson said. “Today, we’re introducing a new privacy setting and invite system to help you decide who can add you to groups.” The new privacy settings can be enabled from within the settings page of the app itself, under the “Account” > “Privacy” > “Groups” sections.
The menu provides three options for allowing group chat invitations — from “Everyone,” “My Contacts” or “My Contacts Except.” “My Contacts means only users you have in your address book can add you to groups,” WhatsApp explained. Meanwhile, they added, “My Contacts Except provides additional control for who among your contacts can add you to a group.” The latter feature enables you to single out particular users who you do not want to be able to add you to a group — perfect for blocking repeat group chat offenders.
“In those cases, an admin who can’t add you to a group will be prompted to send a private invite through an individual chat, giving you the choice of joining the group,” WhatsApp explained. “You’ll have three days to accept the invite before it expires.” This setting yesterday replaced the “Nobody” option included in the original version of the update, based on user feedback calling for more control over the blocks. Group chat haters, however, can replicate the “Nobody” configuration by picking “My Contacts Except” and then using the “Select All” option.
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