How Facebook Is Probably Reading Your WhatsApp Messages

Facebook acquired the internet-based messaging platform WhatsApp in 2014. Since then it has been re-tweaking its features to enhance global popularity. As of July 2021, two billion people were using the app. 

Facebook maintains its stand that it cannot and does not read the messages sent between WhatsApp users, due to its end-to-end encryption feature. But the latest investigation by ProPublica suggests that Facebook’s claims are nothing but a big ol' lie. The investigative report goes on to say that Facebook is spending millions to read messages sent over WhatsApp and to moderate the content therein. As per the report’s findings, California headquartered multinational technology firm, employs a staff size of more than a thousand across Austin, Texas, Dublin, and Singapore for this purpose alone.

Photo: Christian Wiediger/Unsplash

These contractors spend their day going through pieces of content, something Facebook strongly denies doing. As stated by their spokesperson, Facebook can only access WhatsApp messages, when a user hits the report abuse button. This feature, as per the spokesperson, helps with improving the quality of messages, and cleanliness of the platform and minimizes threats to a considerable extent. Recently, WhatsApp using several forms of communication such as advertisements has emphasized the fact that the texts can be scrambled and unscrambled by the sender and receiver. The now updated ProPublica report also mentions that the company acknowledged using the services of WhatsApp Content Moderators, only when a red flag was raised. Facebook’s definition of content moderation looks arbitrary on the surface, but at the core, it is designed to safeguard a user’s privacy – even from Facebook.