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Help Article | How to use WhatsApp responsibly




WhatsApp was built as a simple, secure and reliable way to message other people. Messaging is by its nature private and our Terms of Service are designed to help keep our platform and our users safe. All users of WhatsApp should review the following guidelines to ensure responsible use of WhatsApp.
Best practices
  • Communicate with known contacts: Only send messages to those who have contacted you first or have requested you contact them on WhatsApp. It's best to give contacts your phone number so they can message you first.
  • Ask for permission and respect boundaries: You should get permission from contacts before you add them to a group. If you add someone to a group and they remove themselves, honor their decision.
  • Use group controls: We've created an admin only message setting for WhatsApp groups. If you're an admin, you can decide if all participants or only group admins can send messages within the group. Using this feature can help cut down unwanted messages in groups. Learn how to change group admin settings on AndroidiPhoneKaiOS or Web and Desktop.
  • Think twice before forwarding messages: We created a label for all forwarded messages and limit the number of times you can forward messages as a way to encourage users to reconsider before sharing. If you aren’t sure whether something’s true or don’t know who wrote the message, we don’t recommend forwarding it. Learn more about preventing the spread of misinformation in this article.
Practices to avoid
Using WhatsApp in any of the ways listed below may cause your account to be banned.
  • Unwanted messages: If a contact asks you to stop messaging them, you should remove the contact from your address book and refrain from contacting them again.
  • Automated or bulk messages: Don't bulk message, auto-message, or auto-dial using WhatsApp. WhatsApp uses both machine learning technology and reports from users to detect and ban accounts that send unwanted automated messages. Also, don't create accounts or groups in unauthorized or automated ways, or use modified versions of WhatsApp. For more information on how WhatsApp prevents abuse of automated and bulk messaging, you can read this white paper.
  • Using contact lists that aren’t yours: Don’t share phone numbers without consent or use data obtained from illicit sources to message users on WhatsApp or add them to groups.
  • Over-using broadcast lists: Messages sent using a broadcast list will only be received when users have added your phone number to their contact list. Please keep in mind, frequent use of broadcast messages may lead people to report your messages, and we ban accounts that are reported multiple times.
  • Harvesting personal information: Avoid extracting information from WhatsApp at scale, using an automated or manual tool, for any unpermitted purposes. The acquisition of information from users in this way, including phone numbers, user profile pictures, and statuses from WhatsApp violates our Terms of Service.
  • Violating our Terms of Service: As a reminder, our Terms of Service prohibit, amongst other things, publishing falsehoods and engaging in illegal, threatening, intimidating, hateful, and racially or ethnically offensive behavior. You can review our Terms of Service here.
Related resources:

 



WhatsApp Features

TEXTS

Simple, Reliable Messaging

Message your friends and family for free*. WhatsApp uses your phone's Internet connection to send messages so you can avoid SMS fees



* Data charges may apply. Contact your provider for details.




GROUP CHAT

Groups to keep in touch

Keep in touch with the groups of people that matter the most, like your family or coworkers. With group chats, you can share messages, photos, and videos with up to 256 people at once. You can also name your group, mute or customize notifications, and more.


 



WHATSAPP ON WEB AND DESKTOP

Keep the Conversation Going

With WhatsApp on the web and desktop, you can seamlessly sync all of your chats to your computer so that you can chat on whatever device is most convenient for you. Download the desktop app or visit web.whatsapp.com to get started

 




WHATSAPP VOICE AND VIDEO CALLS

Speak Freely

With voice calls, you can talk to your friends and family for free*, even if they're in another country. And with free* video calls, you can have face-to-face conversations for when voice or text just isn't enough. WhatsApp voice and video calls use your phone's Internet connection, instead of your cell plan's voice minutes, so you don't have to worry about expensive calling charges.

* Data charges may apply. Contact your provider for details.

 




END-TO-END ENCRYPTION

Security by Default

Some of your most personal moments are shared on WhatsApp, which is why we built end-to-end encryption into the latest versions of our app. When end-to-end encrypted, your messages and calls are secured so only you and the person you're communicating with can read or listen to them, and nobody in between, not even WhatsApp.




PHOTOS AND VIDEOS

Share Moments that Matter

Send photos and videos on WhatsApp instantly. You can even capture the moments that matter to you most with a built-in camera. With WhatsApp, photos and videos send quickly even if you're on a slow connection.


 




DOCUMENTS

Document Sharing Made Easy

Send PDFs, documents, spreadsheets, slideshows and more, without the hassle of email or file sharing apps. You can send documents up to 100 MB, so it's easy to get what you need over to who you want.





VOICE MESSAGES

Say What's On Your Mind

Sometimes, your voice says it all. With just one tap you can record a Voice Message, perfect for a quick hello or a longer story.



 

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