Fact Check: Do three red ticks on WhatsApp mean the government is initiating action against you?

A message has been doing the rounds on WhatsApp which claims that government will initiate action against you for sharing ‘anti-national, anti-government messages’.

The message reads:

Dear all,

Kindly, note when you send a message by what's app, you see some tick marks. They, mean as follows.,

One mark means , message is sent

Two indicate... message has reached

Two blue ticks indicate.. the message has been read

Three blue ticks marks indicate that., Govt has noticed that the message

Two blue ticks and one red tick marks indicate that Govt can take action

One blue tick and two red ticks marks indicate that Govt. initiated action upon you for that message.

Three red ticks marks indicate that Govt. already taken action severe action upon you & shortly court summon will be coming to you for that message.

So, be careful about forwarding any messages related to social activities, politics & anti- government. messages


Please, inform others too in your circle / group.

FPJ Fact Check

For starters, it’s impossible to get three clicks on anyone WhatsApp message. So, there’s no question of three blue ticks. Secondly, no WhatsApp message ever gets a red tick. Thirdly, while the authorities can initiate action against you or even a WhatsApp admin based on a message, there’s no way for three ticks to suggest that the government is taking action or you are going to get a court summons.

That being said, what you say on WhatsApp can land you in jail.

Junaid Khan, a man from MP who became the ‘default admin’ of a WhatsApp group spent five months in jail over controversial content.

While messages you send can be charged under various provisions of the Indian Penal Code, you certainly won’t be informed of any wrongdoing with three red ticks.

WhatsApp Tips to prevent Fake News

  1. Understand when a message is forwarded

Messages with the "Forwarded" label help you determine if your friend or relative wrote the message or if it originally came from someone else. Double check the facts when you're not sure who wrote the original message. To learn more about forwarding messages, please read these articles.

  1. Check photos and media carefully

Photos, audios, and videos can be edited to mislead you. Look at trusted news sources to see if the story is being reported elsewhere. When a story is reported in multiple places, it's more likely to be true.

  1. Look out for messages that look different

Many messages or website links you receive containing hoaxes or fake news have spelling mistakes. Look for these signs so you can check if the information is accurate. To learn more about suspicious links, please read these articles.

  1. Check your biases

Watch out for information that confirms your preexisting beliefs and review the facts before sharing information. Stories that seem hard to believe are often untrue.

  1. Fake news often goes viral

Even if a message is shared many times, this does not make it true. Don't forward a message because the sender is urging you to do so.

  1. Verify with other sources

If you're still not sure if a message is true, search online for facts and check trusted news sites to see where the story came from. If you still have doubts, ask fact-checkers or people you trust for more information.

  1. Help stop the spread

If you see something that's fake, tell the person that sent it to you and ask them to verify information before they share it. Don't share a message because someone tells you to do so. If a group or a contact is constantly sending fake news, report them. To learn how to report a contact or a group, please read this article.

Important: If you feel that you or someone else is in emotional or physical danger, please contact your local law enforcement authorities. Local law enforcement authorities are equipped to help in these cases.

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