‘WhatsApp cannot be trusted’: Elon Musk slams app as user claims it’s listening to them


Elon Musk slammed WhatsApp on Twitter today amid reports the Mark Zuckerberg-owned app is listening to users.

Musk said the messaging app ‘cannot be trusted’ in response to a tweet thread from one user who said WhatsApp accessed their phone’s mics while they slept.

It is the second time in just a few weeks that the Twitter and Tesla billionaire has jabbed at his tech rival Zuckerberg, accusing him of ‘bias’ for supporting Democrats through his campaign donations.

Musk’s latest barb came in response to a screenshot shared by Foad Dabiri, who showed how his WhatsApp mic was switched on nine times between 4:20 am to 6:53 am while he was asleep.

WhatsApp responded to the issue on its Twitter account, noting that Dabiri’s incident ‘is a bug on Android.’ But the issue has persisted for months.

Elon Musk is not a fan of Mark Zuckerberg and has taken the opportunity to slam WhatsApp for being 'untrustworthy' after a user claimed the app was listening in the background

Elon Musk is not a fan of Mark Zuckerberg and has taken the opportunity to slam WhatsApp for being ‘untrustworthy’ after a user claimed the app was listening in the background

The incident is not limited to Dabiri, as many WhatsApp users have reported seeing the microphone activated on the background over the past month or more.

Some users have suggested restarting the device will fix the issue or ‘tap the mic access notification shortcut to toggle it off and then turn it back on,’ a Redditor shared.

When DailyMail.com asked Meta for more details, a spokesperson referred to the Twitter post.

‘Over the last 24 hours we’ve been in touch with a Twitter engineer who posted an issue with his Pixel phone and WhatsApp,’ WhatsApp tweeted.

‘We believe this is a bug on Android that misattributes information in their Privacy Dashboard and have asked Google to investigate and remediate. 

‘Users have full control over their mic settings Once granted permission, WhatsApp only accesses the mic when a user is making a call or recording a voice note or video – and even then, these communications are protected by end-to-end encryption so WhatsApp cannot hear them.’ 

Privacy Dashboard is a Google-owned service that lets users see which apps are accessing their data, which have permission and when it is happening. 

WhatsApp’s tweet about Dabiri’s post suggests Google’s Privacy Dashboard is to blame for the issue.

One Twitter responded to WhatsApp’s tweet: ‘If that’s 100% true, you should sue @elonmusk for defamation of the brand, would you do that?’

Musk's tweet has since gone viral, with thousands of comments. Gannon Breslin replied: 'It's incredible how many people don't realize that WhatsApp is owned by Meta / Facebook'

Musk’s tweet has since gone viral, with thousands of comments. Gannon Breslin replied: ‘It’s incredible how many people don’t realize that WhatsApp is owned by Meta / Facebook’

It seems Musk will take any opportunity to jab at the Meta CEO and did so by sharing a screenshot of WhatsApp 'listening' in the background. Musk's tweet has since gone viral, with thousands of comments

It seems Musk will take any opportunity to jab at the Meta CEO and did so by sharing a screenshot of WhatsApp ‘listening’ in the background. Musk’s tweet has since gone viral, with thousands of comments

WhatsApp is the most popular messaging app, with around two billion active users worldwide. 

Facebook purchased WhatsApp in 2014 with a bid of $16 billion.

Musk and Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg have been vocal about their distaste for each other. 

In 2022, the Twitter CEO accused Zuckerberg of exercising too much control over public debates, describing him as ‘Zuckerberg the 14th’ in a mocking reference to the Sun King.

And this year, Zuckerberg’s Meta announced it was taking on Twitter with a new similar app set to be released soon.

It seems Musk will take any opportunity to jab at the Meta CEO and did so by sharing a screenshot of WhatsApp ‘listening’ in the background.

Musk’s tweet has since gone viral, with thousands of comments.

Gannon Breslin replied: ‘It’s incredible how many people don’t realize that WhatsApp is owned by Meta / Facebook.’

Musk commented: ‘Yeah. Or that WhatsApp founders left Meta/Facebook in disgust, started [the] #deletefacebook campaign & made major contributions to building Signal. 

Musk's tweet has since gone viral, with thousands of comments. Some users shared they believed the microphone was on and deleted the app

Musk’s tweet has since gone viral, with thousands of comments. Some users shared they believed the microphone was on and deleted the app

Other users shared screenshots showing the camera was being used by WhatsApp

Other users shared screenshots showing the camera was being used by WhatsApp

‘What they learned about Facebook & changes to WhatsApp obviously disturbed them greatly.’

DailyMail.com has reached out to Musk for comment on WhatsApp’s response. 

Other Twitter users said they saw WhatsApp had activated the microphone in the background and have since deleted the app. 

The issue is also popular on Reddit, where many users notice WhatsApp activates the microphone.

A post from 10 days ago describes a similar situation to what Dabiri shared.

‘The green dot in the status bar is turned on nonstop all day. When I click on it says WhatsApp accessing microphone every 3-4 minutes,’ the Reddit user posted.

‘Anyone else facing this? The only fix I found is turning off permission in WhatsApp settings, but it’s not feasible for someone who takes a lot of WhatsApp calls.’ 

Some users said the issue resulted from a bug, but others replied that it had occurred too many times to be a flaw. 

When WhatsApp, or any app, accesses a device’s microphone, a green usually appears in the top right corner on an Android.

Tapping that icon shows more details, including which app uses the camera or microphone. 

Users can also select the app’s name in the pop-up panel to go to that app’s permission page and restrict it from accessing the camera or mic on that device. 

The green dot on Android works similarly to the orange dot on iPhones which was also added as a way to tell if an app is accessing the microphone on an iPhone or iPad. 



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