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Why all WhatsApp Groups Must Develop a Set of ‘WhatsAppiQuette’

There should be a rule about WhatsApp media items from parties and events being shared in WhatsApp Groups. Many rules, actually.

For instance, if you receive more than five photographs from any wedding before the reception has gotten to the point where the cake is cut then that should constitute an immediate invite.

You should be allowed to turn up at the gate and scroll through just those five photographs for security to let you in. The rules should even be extended so that if you have received more than ten photographs then you get a free drink of your choice at the bar.

It you show the bouncers, bartenders and organisers WhatsApp messages containing intimate details such as things that the bridesmaids have said about the bagole then you should be entitled to full helpings of dinner even though the buffet was closed an hour ago. If the food is finished then the hotel must be compelled to cook afresh and serve you but send the bill to the person who sent you all those WhatsApp photographs.

And if you have your name tagged to Facebook photos even as the wedding is taking place then you should be entitled to the harder drinks and not just wine out of boxes. (If the wedding party only has wine out of boxes, and the person serving calls them caskets instead of ‘casks’ then you should be allowed to demand for grammatical reparations such as bottled wine.)

If someone posts photographs about the concert they are attending, then you should get the right to hurry over to the event and gain free entrance paid for by the person who sent the photographs. I am certain someone can create a mobile app that will automate this off Mobile Money accounts linked to WhatsApp.

But all this only applies when the photos are sent to Groups where not all the members are linked to the event taking place.

The habit we have of sharing photographs of events within certain Groups needs to be tempered by common sense.

Even where we belong to WhatsApp groups that lack well-defined rules and regulations, we should have developed our own sense of WhatsAppiQuette.

WhatsAppiQuette, obviously, is like Netiquette and derived from Etiquette.


Over the last so-many months my station in life has improved to a level where I am the privileged Admin of WhatsApp groups. I have not yet added that to my professional Resume (or Curriculum Vitae) but soon we will get to that.

Among the first things I do as Admin is set the Rules of Engagement, especially where the Group is so disparate that someone has to do so.

One of those Rules, in some Groups, is the Photography caveat – Do NOT share photographs to the Group unless the photographs are relevant to the purpose for which members came together to associate in this Group.

It is maddening to wake up on Sunday morning and find a hundred photographs from five random weddings or house parties to which you were not invited and whose attendants you do not know or cannot recognize from the photographs sent.

The cost of the downloads is one thing, but the other is the time lost actually looking through them, then deleting them, and then getting rid of many unnecessary thoughts.

Many times I let the questions linger with irritation: Why did that person think they needed to share those photographs? Who are those people? What would happen if every one of the 256 people in this Group decided to send us five photographs each of what they were doing last night?

Last week I had to share that last question with one Group where members were insisting that they needed to have the right to share such photographs and more. After doing the mathematics, they went silent.

Peace has prevailed – in that one Group. Perhaps the idea for WhatsApp media items to constitute event invites will silence the rest of the Groups that still let them in uncontrolled.


Simon Kaheru

Lead Analyst at Media Analyst and Chairman of the ICT Association of Uganda (ICTAU). Simon writes about "technology for work and play" and his column for PC Tech is called "Don't Blink".
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