Horror struck Twitter this week when it emerged that the site had turned on read receipts for DMs, letting everyone know when something’s being ignored. But it’s just the latest service to do it – by default, and without giving people the option of choosing not to.
Read receipts have all the earmarks of being a standout amongst the most helpful things in tech, since they let you know when some individual has seen your message and you can make sure that the information reached them. Practically speaking, they can be horrendous –enabling passive-aggression and upset on both sides of the conversation.
Twitter may have installed DM read receipts by default, yet they did at any rate make a sensibly simple approach to turn them off. You do it by making a beeline for the “Security and protection” page in your settings, looking down to Direct Messages and un-tapping the “Send/Receive Read Receipts” alternative.
There simply isn’t an official method for killing read receipts on Messenger – the application has no option, and Facebook obviously is content with that.
So not having read receipts on means using a few tricks. There are some apps and extensions that claim to let you read messages without receipts – but they can be a bother to install (and can break if Facebook doesn’t want them to exist).
So for the time being the most dependable way is to look at your messages with Airplane Mode on. That’s done by waiting till the message arrives, going offline, opening up the app and reading the message, and then quitting and getting back online.
That same trick also works on WhatsApp.
But thankfully despite being owned by Facebook, WhatsApp does still give you the option to disabled read receipts. That’s done by heading to the Privacy part of the settings, found using the tabs at the bottom of the screen, and sliding the “Read Receipts” setting to off.
WhatsApp does make it so that if you’re not sending out read receipts, you won’t be able to see anyone else’s, either. As such, it can be easier to try the offline mode trick if you’re only wanting to hide your read receipts every so often and still want to benefit from them.
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