“Is swimming on today?” “Does anyone know if there’s any homework?” The parents’ WhatsApp group will be familiar to anyone with a child at primary school. For working mothers and fathers unable, or unwilling, to hang out at the school gate, as well as the perennially disorganised, the school WhatsApp group is a vital source of information. After all, WhatsApp, the Facebook-owned messaging service, is changing many areas of life. In the office it is an alternative channel to cut through the e-mail overload (if only to provide another source of overload), to flatten hierarchies, to gossip and bully. In politics, it is a platform to discuss policy and strategy, leak stories to the media and plot coups. Yet, it has also been responsible for spreading misinformation. In India, fake news shared over WhatsApp has led to lynchings and ratcheted political tensions. In New York, WhatsApp misinformation has terrified anti-vaxxers. In school groups, WhatsApp misinformation is having an effect t...

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