MCMC officially releases guidelines for WhatsApp admins

Among the hilarious recommendations are to 'not let conversations go off topic'

The Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission has set out a list of formal guidelines for 'group admins'. This means anyone in charge of a messaging group, whether WhatsApp, Facebook, Viber or the like

Not really Internet policing

Now, since social messaging conversations are technically private, you won't need to worry MCMC is secretly reading all your instant messaging. But if there is a report made against any individual for what is deemed seditious (refer to the Sedition Act here), an investigation will be conducted.

The list of do's and don'ts has been published on MCMC's website here and some of the recommendations are a wee bit amusing.

It first advises admins to inform members of the reason for setting up said group, as well as establishing basic rules. Well, that makes sense for, say, public Facebook groups but is perhaps not so practical with more casual lists. Telling grandma to stop forwarding questionable websites in WhatsApp will definitely lead to uncomfortable silences at family dinners.

MCMC also tells admins to be mindful of rules setup by platforms or providers, as well as comment on posts to ensure discussions stay on track. Admins are also admonished not to "encourage, incite or abet inappropriate posts". Most hilarious is the suggestion not to "allow discussions to wander off topic".  But to be honest, these guidelines are basic guidelines used to moderate most online forums but with common sense, and a sense of propriety, there isn't (probably) reason to be overly paranoid about being admin of a WhatsApp thread. We cover that bit here, in a piece about whether you can really get in trouble using the app.

Choose your friends and WhatsApp groups wisely: remember, friends don't let friends screenshot messages without permission.