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Awareness, Education & Training
on CyberBullying Prevention

Facebook Messenger and Secret Conversations

 

Over 900 million people use Facebook Messenger – to make the understatement of the year. THAT’S A LOT!!!

But Facebook Messenger, unlike other messaging platforms such as WhatsApp, does not offer end to end encryption by default. You have to enable it each time within each message in a new feature called ‘Secret Conversation’. Once enabled the chat will be end-to-end encrypted as well as allowing the user to set a self-destruct timer between 5 seconds and 1 day. Can you say SnapChat functionality? This worries us as young people are already under the impression that because Snaps ‘disappear’ after a set period of time, the content is gone, so they can send whatever they want! This is not true, but now Facebook is further compounding this message.

There are two ways in which Facebook Messenger can initiate a secret conversation. The first and most straightforward is from within messenger. Just tap on the Compose box top right. From here you’ll see the word ‘secret’ (top right). Tap this, choose the person you’d like a secret conversation with and type your message. You’ll then see a timer (bottom right) so choose how long you want the message to be available for.

The second option works with existing conversations. To enable the ‘secret conversation’ feature, just open an existing message, tap the person’s name and you’ll see the secret conversation option.

Facebook on it’s secret conversations features said ‘With secret conversations, you can send messages, pictures and stickers. Secret conversations don’t support group messages, gifs, videos, voice or video calling or payments’.

We just want to make a timely reminder to STOP | THINK | POST – the words secret and disappear bring the illusion of temporary and private, but don’t forget that most people have 2 devices these days. They could easily take a picture of one device with the other and you’ll be none the wiser. Or they might be in a group of people and decide to show the entire group.

If you aren’t happy with what you are about to send to go on a billboard at the side of Sheikh Zayed road. DON’T POST IT!!