WhatsApp is giving you more ways to block people from adding you to group chats. Its updated privacy settings replace the original “nobody” option with a “my contacts except” choice that lets you prevent certain people (or all of them, if you prefer) from dragging you into a group.
“WhatsApp is introducing a new setting and invite system that will give users more control over the group messages they receive,” WhatsApp said in a statement.
“This is a result of customer feedback telling us that people want more control over who can add them to groups, preventing unwanted messages including viral information that can spread through groups.
Previously, anyone with your phone number could add you to a group chat.
The feature should be active now on Android and iOS. This is an acknowledgment that unwanted group invitations are still an issue, of course, but it’s also part of an ongoing effort to fight fake news. There should be fewer opportunities for people to spread misinformation, at least to people who weren’t already receptive to it.
Once you’ve downloaded the update, you can change group privacy through your settings.
To do so, hit WhatsApp Settings > Account > Privacy > Groups.
You’re then presented with three options for who you want to limit unsolicited invites to: “Everyone”, my contacts” and “my contacts except”.
The first means anyone can add you to group chats without permission, while the second limits this power to people in your contacts.
Those not on your must add you to chats via an invite sent to you in a private message.