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Dublin: 20 °C Thursday 6 August, 2020
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Your evening longread: What's wrong with Whatsapp?

It’s a coronavirus-free zone as we bring you an interesting longread each evening to take your mind off the news.

Image: Shutterstock/Temitiman

EVERY WEEK, WE bring you a round-up of the best longreads of the past seven days in Sitdown Sunday.

For the next few weeks, we’ll be bringing you an evening longread to enjoy which will help you to escape the news cycle.

We’ll be keeping an eye on new longreads and digging back into the archives for some classics.

What’s wrong with Whatsapp?

William Davies delves into exactly how Whatsapp operates, and the dangers that its closed-off groups can have. From inadvertently spreading false information to building resentment of the unknown, the article explores how Whatsapp groups can take on a life of their own for better or worse.

(TheGuardian, approx 22 mins reading time)

The political threat of WhatsApp is the flipside of its psychological appeal. Unlike so many other social media platforms, WhatsApp is built to secure privacy. On the plus side, this means intimacy with those we care about and an ability to speak freely; on the negative side, it injects an ethos of secrecy and suspicion into the public sphere. As Facebook, Twitter and Instagram become increasingly theatrical – every gesture geared to impress an audience or deflect criticism – WhatsApp has become a sanctuary from a confusing and untrustworthy world, where users can speak more frankly. As trust in groups grows, so it is withdrawn from public institutions and officials. A new common sense develops, founded on instinctive suspicion towards the world beyond the group.

Read all of the Evening Longreads here>

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