From the COLlive inbox: “Educators and parents are very concerned about the new Channels feature on WhatsApp, turning it into another social media platform. Simply getting everyone to leave WhatsApp may not be the ultimate solution to the concerns we face.” Full Story
Educators and parents are very concerned about the new Channels feature on WhatsApp. Essentially, it turns the messaging app into a social media platform, giving users access to everything the internet has to offer…
In the midst of the controversy, I think it is crucial to step back and consider the broader perspective. Simply getting everyone to leave WhatsApp may not be the ultimate solution to the concerns we face.
While there are (partially) valid concerns about inappropriate content and unsolicited messages (partially because WhatsApp’s content restrictions may not perfectly align with our values), it’s essential to recognize that these issues should not affect an ordinary frum yid for a straightforward reason. Most paid filters have already blocked the channels feature, and the rest are actively working on implementing such blocks.
It says that Hashem prepares the cure before the sickness before the blow, as is clear in this case as well.
It’s well-known that every frum yid, regardless of their chassishkeit level, requires a robust internet filter; there are no exceptions to this rule. This isn’t just my personal opinion; any honest rav will confirm that, from a halachic perspective, having a filter is a necessity.
Furthermore, when we compare an unfiltered device to what these channels offer, the contrast becomes striking. For example, consider the distinction between a channel about movies with occasional updates (meaning random pictures and captions) and unrestricted access to a movie streaming’s entire library on an unfiltered device.
Some may argue that it’s different because they are already on WhatsApp so frequently that avoiding it would be challenging. However, without a filter, the same issue arises with ads, and even if not, the worst content becomes easily accessible within seconds.
It’s ironic that some individuals who have never had an issue with unrestricted access to explicit and harmful content on their devices are suddenly getting everyone else to leaving WhatsApp. Let’s take responsibility and do what we should already be doing: filtering our own devices.
Some might claim that their current filter doesn’t block channels. Well, perhaps it’s time for a filter upgrade? Just as we replace a broken air conditioning filter or upgrade to a new phone when necessary, consider investing in a filter that aligns with your values. TAG offers many cost-effective filtering solutions that address these issues. Moreover, maintaining our values as Frum yidden comes with a price. We willingly pay for kosher meat without compromising due to cost. Let’s prioritize safeguarding our online experiences as well.
Saying everyone should leave WhatsApp is like saying that nobody should use any websites. Instead let’s use tools in a protected and safe way. Just like you can use a filtered browser for many good things without any distractions, you can use WhatsApp to your benefit by simply having a filtered phone.