WhatsApp is cracking down on third-party applications that try to mimic or replace the apps messaging service. Specifically, those users who have been using or have downloaded WhatsApp Plus have had their accounts suspended for 24 hours. WhatsApp who is owned by Facebook said in a statement on its FAQ page, “The developers of WhatsApp Plus have no relationship to WhatsApp, and we do not support WhatsApp Plus.”
The page then goes on to point out “that WhatsApp Plus contains source code which WhatsApp cannot guarantee as safe, and that your private information is potentially being passed to [third] parties without your knowledge or authorization. WhatsApp responded by noting in a Google Plus post that they had received a cease-and-desist letter from WhatsApp and that they are “obligated to remove all download links.”
WhatsApp Plus Creator Mounib Al Rifai said in a Google+ post that he is “really sorry for this but it’s out of our hands and WhatsApp has pushed us into a corner that we can’t escape this time.” The ban goes on to show users a countdown that once completed, will allow them to access WhatsApp again. However, this is not the first time now in recent days that WhatsApp has been in the news.
Just last week after the Charlie Hebdo attack members of government in the UK suggested that platforms like Snapchat and WhatsApp should be banned, or locked inside the limits of the United Kingdom. While that might seem like a stretch to some people, it is still entirely possible to have this type of situation play out on a regular basis. In fact, the Mayor of London Boris Johnson said “I’m not interested in this civil liberties stuff. If they’re a threat, I want their emails and calls listened to,” and those words caught many off guard. That being said, there has been a wide range of emotions since the attack, and likely, a larger misunderstanding of technology is at play here.
For those who have been banned by WhatsApp, simply allowing the timer to expire will allow them to continue using the app without any further interruption. Assuming that WhatsApp does not ban users again for any other third-party use.