WhatsApp Autocracy- Pope Jay
Over the past weeks, the number of WhatsApp groups I belong to has increased geometrically. Most of the groups I have had to join recently have been due to an unavoidable necessity. And in some of these groups, I have had to be one of the group administrators for various reasons. I must confess, It has been quite an experience: Good, bad and ugly.
I have come to observe that different people join different groups (WhatsApp groups majorly) for different reasons and most importantly without considering the fundamentals that birth most of these groups. Within permissible limits of presumption, I want to believe that a high percentage of users, especially in the older teenage and early youthful stage, join most groups in search of adventure and amusement without any real connection to the main purpose of the establishment of the group. The aftereffect of this is not far-fetched; it's loads and loads of irrelevant chats, annoying spam and unnecessary “Send To 7 People or die” messages.
Personally, I try to castigate this rather sad decadence of order whenever I can, especially in groups where I can. I am an advocate of purpose; I believe my actions at every point in time should be tied to a particular purpose. As a matter of fact, this is a basic principle for achieving appreciable productivity. Putting this simply, if I join a WhatsApp group to plan an event, the messages and posts on such group should be centred around this purpose, if I want to listen to the gospel, I know where to go.
I have had to offend many people who do not share this perspective. If I create a group for a particular reason and, knowing fully well this purpose, a person decides to spam the group with very irrelevant information, there is a very high tendency that I may 'unintentionally' remove such person from the group. Many people have often called this autocratic and oppressive and this just leaves me to wonder, “Are WhatsApp groups supposed to be democratic?”.
In as much as I appreciate the dividends of democracy et al, I believe it does have its flaws and it is these flaws that make it relatively unsuitable in some scenarios. For instance, there have been issues of administrators removing persons of antagonistic beliefs from general groups and this is condemnable ONLY if it does not agree with the choice of the majority; which according to basic democratic guidelines, carry the vote. However, if I as a person or corporate body create a group and set rules, I reserve the right to dismiss or sanction you if you break these rules. In simpler terms, it’s just like clicking the “I agree” column in the Terms and Conditions section (which no one ever reads) when signing up on most social network platforms, giving the handlers the right to delete your account whenever you break their rules.
Conclusively, I would also want to advise the “Human Rights Activists” who go around fighting when people are sanctioned for breaking rules or basic ethical codes to try to easen up and be a little more patient when trying to moderate some issues, especially the “WhatsApp Activists”. There is such a thing as WhatsApp Autocracy whether you like it or not; in which case it's probably better to just leave the group.