WhatsApp is working on a feature that would allow group admins to delete messages for any user in the group. The world’s most popular messaging service is reported to be working on a moderating tool similar to that of competitor messaging service Telegram, which allows administrators to delete messages sent by group members. WhatsApp has yet to reveal the specifications of this function, which is likely to be included in future beta versions of WhatsApp for Android and iOS.
The Meta-owned messaging service is working on a feature that will allow group admins to erase messages from any group member, according to a screenshot shared by feature tracker WABetaInfo.
The screenshot depicts a deleted message in a WhatsApp chat, along with a placeholder message that reads “This was deleted by an admin, WABetaInfo” to notify group members that the communication had been erased. Telegram, a WhatsApp competitor, also lets group admins erase messages from any user, but it doesn’t show a placeholder message.
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The future option to remove all conversations in WhatsApp groups might be a useful moderating tool, especially in combating fake news and harmful content on the messaging app. Previously, the Bombay High Court and the Madras High Court ruled that WhatsApp group admins were not accountable for inappropriate content shared to a group.
The Bombay High Court stated last year that group admins have very limited powers to add or remove members from the group and do not have the authority to regulate or censor information posted in the group.
There’s no indication yet on whether group admins will be able to erase older communications in a group. In chats or groups, users can presently remove their own messages in 4,096 seconds – one hour, eight minutes, and sixteen seconds. WhatsApp may, however, enhance admins’ ability to delete messages in a group, allowing them to deal with earlier communications posted by group members. WhatsApp has yet to publicly announce plans to introduce such a feature to the messaging service, as previously said.