By Erica Abbott
HeikoAL / Pixabay
A viral warning purporting that ISIS created a WhatsApp group chat called “Interschools” that users cannot leave after joining is a hoax.
According to Snopes, the fake social media warning began circulating in early June. The posts claimed that an ISIS or Daesh-owned WhatsApp group was making its way around the social network and once a user joined, they could not leave. It purported:
There is a whatsapp group called’ Interschools. If invited, don’t join the group, it belongs to Daesh (ISIS). If you join the group you will not be able to exit from it. Be vigilant, please inform others. Send this to your relatives and children on whatsapp so that they will also be careful. Forwarded as received.
There is, however, no truth to the viral social media warning, which bears a striking resemblance to another viral warning hoax. Not only is there no evidence to suggests that ISIS maintains a WhatsApp group titled “Interschools” in order to trap unsuspecting users, those who use the app also have the option to remove themselves from a group chat. As the WhatsApp FAQ page explains:
If you exit a group, you will be removed from the group but will still see it in your Chats list, and you will be able to read the chat history. If you are the only group admin and you exit a group, a participant is chosen at random to become the new admin. To exit a group:
- On the chats screen swipe the name of the group to the left.
- Tap More and then Exit Group.
- Confirm by tapping Exit Group.
As cyber lawyer Pavan Duggal explained in the wake of the last ISIS-WhatsApp hoax, IT professionals can use malware to make it more difficult for a user to leave a group, however, it is not impossible. Additionally, users have the option to report groups and unwanted messages as spam, in addition to blocking the sender of the suspicious message.
This, of course, is not the first hoax warning to go viral on social media. Others include the “Machupo” virus warning, malicious virus “Sonia Disowns Rahul” warning, poisonous perfume samples Facebook warning and the viral “Bandits” warning. There was no truth to any of these social media warnings—they were nothing more than viral hoaxes.
Here are some examples of people talking about the “Interschools” WhatsApp group hoax on social media:
Social Media Shares “Interschools” WhatsApp Group Hoax
There is a whatsapp group called Interschools if invited dont join the group it belongs to ISIS If you join you will not be able to exit
— Michael Hartley (@Sledge1960) June 5, 2017
Just got this wow
There is a whatsapp group called’ Interschools, if invited, don’t join the group, it belongs… https://t.co/SQPnhEtr1R
— Steve Alexander (@outatherut) June 5, 2017
be careful and aware. https://t.co/BxKPwXgU4g
— rhea joy dalisay (@Rhea_junsui) June 5, 2017
DO NOT accept ‘whatsapp’ request. Interschools !!!
— Lynda Howard (@onpine609) June 5, 2017
Source:: Business 2 Community