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Harsh

Recently on one fine afternoon, WhatsApp popped up a dialogue saying their privacy policy was changing once you agree they can read all of your chats making their end-to-end encryption completely useless.

Since most people, I communicate with are on WhatsApp it was impossible for me to immediately stop using WhatsApp as I did with Facebook a few years back and stay connected so having no choice but to agree to the new privacy policy.

I found signal.org from Twitter recommendations. it's a perfect app that ticks all of the checkboxes required to be a privacy-first communication app.

I thought of sharing it my contacts to spread awareness hoping at least a few might start using it and eventually like in earlier days we used to ask "are you on WhatsApp?" will be replaced by "are you on Signal?"

So I added my new WhatsApp status

Shadow Banned Status Screenshot

after ~5 minutes I realized that strangely no-one had seen it, So I immediately checked it on my father's phone and to my surprise, it wasn't there, I immediately thought of connectivity issue and connected to my Wi-Fi hotspot but still nothing

then I thought let's check by adding another status so I added Test Status and that one popped up instantly, and to confirm this I immediately called my friend and asked him to confirm the same and send me screen record

below are the screen records from my dad's phone and my friend's status

Screen Records from Dad's Phone

Screen Records from my Friend's Phone

Screen Records from my Phone

my phone's screenrecoard which was recoarded last so can be verified against clock

Conclusion

Q: After this new privacy policy can WhatsApp shadowban your status if it's convenient for them?
A: They can read your messages so maybe Yes

Q: Can I prove any of this legally?
A: No, I tried from some other phones and it worked. maybe it was just a bug, maybe this applies only to beta test users, or maybe they might be doing it a small number of times so nobody can prove this

Q: So is that shadowbanned status visible now?
A: No, it's not visible to anyone except me and will be gone within 24 hours