Although this feature is being rolled out to some users today, WhatsApp users will get this feature in the coming weeks and obviously will need the most updated of WhatsApp to use it.
People will now have the option to choose from three options in their settings from "nobody, ' 'my contacts, ' or 'everyone". TIME also documented similar misuse of WhatsApp in India ahead of the country's national elections.
WhatsApp basically added a privacy section for groups.
The move comes in a bid to stop the spread of misinformation on the app recently, with a BBC report indicating that the Brazilian elections a year ago were rife with campaigners abusing the service to add large groups of people to politically-motivated groups without their consent.
WhatsApp on Wednesday announced that it is rolling out a new privacy setting that will help you decide who can add you to groups, preventing spam additions that have been a pain point for many users. If you click on this link within 72 hours, you'll be added to the group.
In case if you've selected the Nobody option, the person inviting you to a group will be asked to send you a private invite through an individual chat.
WhatsApp's latest changes give you control over groups you engage with on the messaging app. With the "My Contacts" option, only contacts in the user's address book can add them to groups. Leaving a group is considered "rude" for some reason and often results in real-life conflict.
To enable it, go to Settings in your app, then tap Account Privacy Groups and select one of three options: "Nobody" or "My Contacts" or "Everyone". For instance, if the user wants to be added to any group through an invite-only regardless of the family, friends or any contact for that matter, they can select "Nobody" in the Group settings.
The move is significant as social media platforms are expected to play a major role in political campaigns to reach out to citizens in large numbers.