WhatsApp Clarifies Spam User Reports Do Not Undermine End-to-End Encryption

In addition to the misinformation that is prevalent regarding encryption that extends to the end of the tunnel and a misleading report from the Non-profit newsroom ProPublica recently raised doubts about the authenticity of WhatsApp’s end-to-end encryption. Although the gathering of metadata is certainly an issue with WhatsApp however, the report stated that WhatsApp can read messages using ‘widespread monitoring’.

WhatsApp’s Reporting Feature Does Not Break End-to-End Encryption

Like any other social network, WhatsApp has a content moderation team that reviews user feedback. When a user reports a conversation, the latest five messages are sent to WhatsApp to review and moderation. This is explicit within the pop-up report window as shown in the screenshot below:

Responding to the news in response, an official WhatsApp spokesperson stated that: “WhatsApp provides a way to report abuse or abuse. This involves sharing the most recent messages within a chat. This feature is essential in preventing the most severe online abuse. We are not in agreement with the idea that accepting the reports that users choose to send to us is incompatible with complete encryption .”

Following WhatsApp’s announcement, ProPublica has updated the post to clarify the initial report. “An earlier edition of the story created confusion as to the extent to the extent to which WhatsApp scrutinizes users’ messages and whether this violates the encryption that keeps conversations private. We’ve changed the language used in the report to emphasize that WhatsApp only examines messages which have been identified by users as potentially inappropriate. The update does not affect the end-to-end encryption,”

The reporting of a message will not compromise encryption from end-to-end since the purpose of this feature is to prevent negative interactions on the platform.

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