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I recently received this message, apparently a mass text message, from a WhatsApp group:

Screenshot of a WhatsApp message. Text transcribed below.

There is a watsup group called' Interschools, if invited, don't join the group, it belongs to Daesh(ISIS). If you join the group you will not be able to exit from it, be vigilant, please inform others. My dear send it to your relatives and children on watsup so that they will also be careful.

When I searched Google for "interschools whatsapp group," I found several hits, but none from websites that I know to be trustworthy. I also found a repeat of the warning on several sites, including this forum.

Is this claim true?

I am not aware of a mechanism by which one could be made unable to leave a WhatsApp group (onlinethreatalerts.com says that "there is no group on WhatsApp that you cannot leave or exit which you have knowingly or unknowingly joined.") However, it is possible to repeatedly add a number to a WhatsApp group even after the owner of that number has left the group, so I'm not sure that this piece of information alone is enough to debunk this claim.

The spelling and grammar of this message, besides the improbability of the claim, lead me to believe that it's a fake; however, my Google-fu has not turned up better evidence one way or another.

  • I've also seen check4spam.com/internet-rumours/…, but I've never heard of that site (or onlinethreatalerts.com), and I don't know how far they can be trusted. – Shokhet Jun 4 '17 at 14:31
  • @CPerkins I brought this up in chat, and Oddthinking said it was okay. I also included a Google search, and a link to a forum that makes the same claim. – Shokhet Jun 5 '17 at 15:48
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Snopes has addressed this. They claim it to be false.

Snopes published an article on June 5th, 2017 debunking the claim.

Some pertinent snippets from the article:


No evidence exists (outside of the circulation of spurious and anonymous warnings) that ISIS maintains a WhatsApp group intended to ensare[sic] innocent victims for some nefarious purpose, nor that any process exists by which a WhatsApp group creator can prevent members from leaving the group once they have joined it.


Moreover, as noted above, the “Interschools” warning was merely a slight variant of an unfounded rumor that had circulated less than two months earlier

There is a watsapp[sic] group called ‘Firdaus we ascend’, if invited, don’t join the group, it belongs to Daesh. If you join the group you will not be able to exit from it, be vigilant, please inform others – send it to your relatives and children on WhatsApp so that they remain careful.


As presented, the warning (like others of its ilk) made little sense. What advantage would a jihadist militant group gain from enticing random people into joining a WhatsApp group, how could they prevent members from leaving, and what danger would this posit to those who were so entrapped?


tl;dr:

  • No evidence that ISIS has a WhatsApp group, period
  • No known method to prevent someone from leaving a WhatsApp group
  • No clear benefit to ISIS for creating said WhatsApp group or forcing someone to stay in said WhatsApp group
  • Rumor is almost a word for word match of another rumor that circulated about a different WhatsApp group
  • Thank you. At the time I asked the question, Snopes had not yet posted. – Shokhet Jun 5 '17 at 21:00
  • No problem, it must have gone up right as I checked. I looked earlier today and didn't see it. – DenisS Jun 5 '17 at 21:02

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