There is a WhatsApp group called Interschool. Do not join if invited. This is part of the organization (ISIS). If you join this, you will not be able to leave. Share this with all your WhatsApp contacts.”
A message stating the above is shared via WhatsApp as well as on social media. This warning message is rapidly being shared on social media platforms.
Upon inquiry, it was revealed that this message has been circulating in various countries since 2017. We also came across several fact-checking teams from around the world confirming that the message is fake.
Upon verifying the details further we noticed that one can in fact leave WhatsApp groups following a few steps mentioned on the website.
A letter issued by the Western Province Intelligence Division addressed to the Western Province Senior IGP dated 23.09.2021 stating that this WhatsApp message should be investigated is also widely in circulation on social media.
Letter in circulation:
The Police Media Unit has issued a statement regarding this letter that has been in circulation on 26.09.2021.
The statement mentions that the intelligence services of Sri Lanka Police were collecting and analyzing intelligence on all matters that could be considered a threat to national security and that such officers would report such cases. Although the article edited on social media was issued by the Director of the Western Intelligence Division, the press release further states that the details in the letter are not confirmed facts about the said WhatsApp group. The letter further states that disclosure of intelligence documents is a punishable offense.
When inquired about the above message circulated via WhatsApp from the Sri Lanka Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT), they said that anyone can leave any WhatsApp group and that right has always been given to every WhatsApp user.
Thus, it appears that the message circulating about the WhatsApp group named Interschool and the fact that one cannot leave the group upon joining is a fake message that has been exchanging since 2017.