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messageWhatsApp etiquette guide?
Posted by malumbu September 11, 02:20PM

Remember the early days of e-mail when people couldn't help hit reply to all and you got so much necessary mail?

I'm part of community WhatsApp groups, including one I set up myself but they all mutate to talk shops among a few of the participants, one to one conversations, and unnecessary replies with thumbs up and the like. And these aren't kids.

Is there a guide? Or a simple way of encouraging good practice? Without offending. For example if you want to discuss topical issues, your political views and the like chat rooms like EDF are appropriate and you have to actively look at discussions rather than being bombarded. WhatsApp is not the place to have a proper discussion/argument, or lob the odd grenade in.

It's a really useful tool but I am now ignoring much of it and missing the occasional valuable message.

I've just Googled WhatsApp etiquette but no point in answering my own question.

messageRe: WhatsApp etiquette guide?
Posted by TheCat September 11, 06:51PM

You can at least mute the notifications from such chat rooms, so that your phone doesn't buzz when a message hits that specific chatroom, and you have to purposefully open the room to see what's been said. It's in the whatsapp options in the top right.

Obviously doesn't solve the problem of trawling through people's chats to find what's relevant to you, but at least saves you constantly being interrupted by such chats

messageRe: WhatsApp etiquette guide?
Posted by malumbu September 23, 04:28PM

Hmm, I thought that this would get a bit more interest.. Just you end me Cat so we may as well revert to discussing by PM. Perhaps others don't see any issues with some of the drivel that is posted. There are plenty of articles on line but one from Zambia seems to have got it right.

Three basic priciples - as per any social media

1. Is this relevant?
2. Is this necessary?
3. Is this a good time to post?

And in more detail: (I've * those I particularly agree with)


Always keep to the purpose of the group! Don’t share irrelevant messages about other topics.

Do not spam the group! If you would like a group to share memes, adverts or deals with then set one up for that exact purpose and invite others to join.

Don’t be offended if others leave. Not everyone wants the same information.

Do politely excuse yourself before you leave a group.

Post your message in one single chunk of text, don’t post every word or sentence in a new message.

* If you’re lurking in a group chat and ‘seeing’ every message, occasionally respond with *something* to remove the stalker vibe that inevitably develops. [EDF too]

Don’t create huge groups.

Don’t create groups with minors who don’t know each other – no parent wants their kids talking to strangers.

*** Do not have one-on-one conversations in the group. Switch to private messages.

Do not post in any group between 21:00 and 07:00 unless it is an all-out emergency. By emergency, we mean the “blood, floods, and broken bones” type of emergency, not the “I needed the scone recipe at 2am because I had the munchies” type of emergency.

* If a message asks for a positive response like an RSVP, don’t reply in the negative. Only say if you are able to attend. Don’t double RSVP if a second call to action is sent out for the same event.

* If someone asks a question and you don’t know the answer don’t respond with “I don’t know”. Just wait for someone who knows the answer to reply.

** Please don’t send in a hundred “thank you” messages. If you feel gratitude towards someone – tell them in a private message.

* If someone asks a question of a personal nature (like asking for advice) don’t respond if someone else has already answered, or else respond to the person directly in a private message.

** The group is not a political platform (unless you have specifically set it up for this purpose) No arguing, no heated opinions, no fear mongering, no hyped up drama, no fake news. Check your sources before you share.

Never EVER use a group to berate someone else or air grievances. If you have an issue address it one on one with the relevant person.

Don’t add random people to a close-knit group.

*** Always ask someone if you may add them before you add them.

Don’t send data-insensitive messages. No-one wants their last 3GB used up on uninvited memes.

When the group has served its purpose (the hike is over) delete it.

*** Hit “Mute” on your Whatsapp group (unless you’re part of an emergency rescue group). This is a sanity saver. You will still receive all the messages, but your phone won’t buzz or make a noise for every one of them.


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