FACT-CHECK: Viral Audio Says WhatsApp Is Set to Ban Accounts and User Will Pay N20,000 for Retrieval

An audio message has been going viral on WhatsApp claiming that the platform would ban some accounts as a result of “overpopulation.” 

According to the message, users only need to forward a message purportedly sent by WhatsApp Engineering Manager.

READ: FACT-CHECK: Reno Omokri Claims Tinubu Was Shamed in Niger Community, but He Lied

CLAIM

As contained in the audio, recorded and shared by one Hamisu Azare, spreading the WhatsApp message would prevent a ban on personal accounts as well as groups.  But failure to share the message would lead to a ban and it will take N20,000 to retrieve banned accounts.

In addition, Azare, in the audio message claimed that users’ icons would change to that of Facebook if the message is widely spread. He premised this on the fact that Facebook had bought over WhatsApp.

READ: FACT-CHECK: No, Ahmed Musa Did Not Donate Vehicles and ICT Center to APC’s Tinubu

Also, the message is expected to be shared with all contacts until 6 pm of the following day from the time the audio was recorded. However, WikkiTimes could not find out when it was recorded.

VERIFICATION 

WikkiTimes fact-checked the claims as contained in the audio. A visit to the WhatsApp official news blog showed that no such directive was given by its management.

Also, a visit to their social media pages did not reveal any relevant news content to the claims.

VERDICT

WhatsApp Engineering Manager did not order a message to be spread nor is WhatsApp about to ban accounts and request money to retrieve it. The claims are false and misleading.

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