After rumours that Facebook will be abandoning their plans to delete the accounts of WhatsApp users who decline to accept their new Terms of Service on the 15th May, the company has posted a FAQ which explains exactly how they plan to force users to accept the update.
The answer is basically a denial of service attack on their own users, with reminders to accept the update becoming more and more insistent after the 15th, until it makes the app unusable.
Q: What happens on the effective date?
A: No one will have their accounts deleted or lose functionality of WhatsApp on May 15th because of this update.
For the last several weeks we’ve displayed a notification in WhatsApp providing more information about the update. After giving everyone time to review, we’re continuing to remind those who haven’t had the chance to do so to review and accept. After a period of several weeks, the reminder people receive will eventually become persistent.
Q: What happens after I receive a persistent reminder?
A: At that time, you’ll encounter limited functionality on WhatsApp until you accept the updates. This will not happen to all users at the same time.
You won’t be able to access your chat list, but you can still answer incoming phone and video calls. If you have notifications enabled, you can tap on them to read or respond to a message or call back a missed phone or video call.
After a few weeks of limited functionality, you won’t be able to receive incoming calls or notifications and WhatsApp will stop sending messages and calls to your phone.
Facebook says the majority of WhatsApp users have already accepted the update, as have new users, presumably suggesting if some holdouts continue to be stubborn they will not be much missed.
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