Stop Using Whatsapp Ft
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Last updated on April 25th, 2020

WhatsApp is undoubtedly the most popular instant messaging app for smartphones. In fact, it has more than 2 billion users as per its official announcement in 2020.

So, considering that it’s the second-biggest social media platform after Facebook, most of you must be already using it.

In this article, I’m going highlight a few reasons as to why you should stop using WhatsApp right away.

7 Reasons Why You Should Probably Uninstall WhatsApp

1. Facebook Owns WhatsApp

Facebook acquired WhatsApp for 19 billion dollars in 2014.

But, unfortunately, Facebook is highly criticized for its security and privacy practices.

If you’re curious, you can read the timeline of Facebook’s privacy issues to only realize that Facebook is one of the worst companies that you can trust to keep your personal information private.

Don’t believe me?

Even WhatsApp’s co-founder Brian Acton left Facebook and tweeted #DeleteFacebook for a variety of reasons after leaving Facebook.

Brian Acton Tweet

WhatsApp’s co-founder Brian left $850 Million behind with his decision to leave Facebook and also admitted that he was guilty of selling WhatsApp and putting user’s privacy at risk.

Don’t take my word for it, here’s what Brian Acton said in an interview with Forbes:

“At the end of the day, I sold my company,” Acton says. “I sold my users’ privacy to a larger benefit. I made a choice and a compromise. And I live with that every day.”

Not just that, Facebook was involved in one of the biggest data scandal ever. So, in other words, if Facebook is the parent company of WhatsApp, you simply cannot trust what they do.

At least, I don’t. So, feel free to decide what’s best for you.

2. WhatsApp Is Not Open Source

Open Source Illustrate
Photo by Markus Spiske from Pexels

If something is open-source, it means that you can review the source code of the application and verify whether the service/app works as it claims or promises.

For example, Signal is an open-source app. Even if you don’t have the technical knowledge to review the source code, there are hundreds and thousands of developers in the community who constantly work and improve the app.

If you’re curious, you can read my detailed article about Signal Messenger and Session Messenger on It’s FOSS.

Also, just for your information, WhatsApp’s co-founder is the Executive Chairman at Signal Foundation. So, he is one of the key members responsible to develop or improve Signal app as an alternative to WhatsApp.

Not just Signal (that’s what I personally prefer).

But, you can try using alternatives to WhatsApp such as Session, Riot.im, and Threema if you’re looking to switch.

In a nutshell, open-source solutions prove to be better for several reasons and WhatsApp is not an open-source app.

Of course, not all proprietary solutions are bad – but depending on my personal preferences, I am more comfortable with an open-source solution. You be the judge for yourself.

ProtonMail: Free Encrypted Email

ProtonMail is an amazing alternative to Gmail that protects your privacy and offers end-to-end encryption for emails. You get all the essential features of Gmail along with the best-in-class security features that you should expect in an email service.

3. WhatsApp Has Had Several Security Problems

WhatsApp claims to offer the best security to its users, right? Also, it has end-to-end encryption.

Well, that’s debatable because hackers managed to hack a phone by just starting a WhatsApp call (you don’t even need to pick up the call).

But, end-to-end encryption refers to the fact that your messages are safe?

Well, technically yes – but end-to-end encryption doesn’t really prevent Facebook/WhatsApp from accessing your chats (potentially)

I might sound paranoid – but just because there’s no clarity on how the data and encryption are exactly handled (with a mixture of controversies that surround Mark Zuckerberg during Congressional hearing), you can’t be too confident.

For more info on this, you can explore an article on Medium on how end-to-end encryption does not really translate to secure messaging.

It just doesn’t stop there – there’s also no clarity on how metadata (information associated with your message) is handled on WhatsApp. Even if your messages are secure – simple metadata can still trace you easily.

Don’t believe me? Read how NSA identifies (or kills) using metadata to know more about it.

Of course, WhatsApp fixed security problems. But, WhatsApp has had several security issues and often very dangerous. But, on the other hand, apps like Threema, Signal, Session, and similar privacy-friendly messengers have had little to none severe vulnerabilities.

I know that everything can be hacked one day or the other – but would you rather choose something that’s more dangerous to use or something that’s safer?

You be the judge.

4. WhatsApp Is Not Privacy Friendly

Privacy Illustrate Fb 1
Photo by Glen Carrie on Unsplash

While this is somewhat a redundant reason given that Facebook owns WhatsApp. But, that’s not the end of the story.

WhatsApp is not even compliant with GDPR privacy regulations. I’ll give two pointers here:

  • Anyone can add you to a WhatsApp group by default (you have the option to prevent it – but that should have been enabled by default)
  • You’re sharing your address book and potentially sharing the data of your contacts without their consent. And, it’s not clear how they handle the data – whether they hash it at all or not.

In addition to the basic pointers that I mentioned above, if you take a look at WhatsApp’s privacy policy, there’s a lot of things going on.

To start with, the privacy policy does not clarify how they handle the data – especially, the messages they store on their server while the receiver is offline is still unclear.

In addition to that, WhatsApp collects the data from your address book (every other messaging app does) – however, there’s not enough clarity in their policy how they protect it.

There could be several other loopholes in their privacy policy – but it’s definitely not the best privacy policy I’ve come across.

For a messaging service that respects your privacy, the privacy policy should be dead simple and more transparent in my opinion.

5. WhatsApp Does Not Have A Native Desktop App

As of now, WhatsApp, being a very popular messenger does not offer a native desktop experience (i.e standalone app).

Yes, you can use WhatsApp Web but that’s a terrible service. You will need to have an active Internet connection on your smartphone to use WhatsApp Web – which is stupid (in my opinion).

In contrast, other messaging apps provide a separate desktop app which you can use even if your smartphone has been switched off.

6. WhatsApp Is The Perfect Spot For Spreading Fake News & Rumors

Let’s face it. You must have already witnessed the never ending spam messages in WhatsApp groups.

Someone just forwards a link or an image and it gets viral!

Even though this might seem harmless – it’s really easy to spread a malicious message or information using WhatsApp.

In case you didn’t know WhatsApp has had one of the major roles in spreading misinformation about coronavirus in 2020. Not just limited to this, there are also reports of people being burned to death just because of a hoax spread via WhatsApp.

No matter how hard WhatsApp tries to limit it – they still haven’t succeeded with that. Maybe no other messaging app with a huge userbase has managed to do that.

But, would you rather choose a less-distracting app with a potentially safer environment or would want to spend the entire day tackling spam messages on WhatsApp?

You be the judge.

7. Facebook’s Plan To Integrate WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger & Instagram Is Bad News

Here, integrating different services refers to the ability of merging the network of WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and Instagram under one single roof.

To clarify – it means that you will be able to communicate with WhatsApp users through Instagram and vice versa.

With this move, not only they will be eliminating the potential rival messaging services through easy monopoly but it also raises anti-trust and security questions.

However, officially it’s still not clear how they’re doing it (and what’s the progress with it so far). You can read more about the move here.


No matter whether you agree with the points above, I’ve listed a list of WhatsApp alternatives that you can try:

Wrapping Up

I understand that it’s not possible to completely uninstall WhatsApp right away. And, it’s totally my opinion here.

But, it’s important to understand that privacy and security matters. So, I’d suggest you to start using secure messaging apps like Threema, Signal, and Session and encourage everyone else to do the same.

So, if you found this article useful, please share it across social media platforms to spread the word!

45 COMMENTS

    • It’s a good thing to have it in place. But, that’s not a complete solution.

      There’s more to it. Your metadata, the usage data, the personal information – how they handle it.

      Here, “they” refers to Facebook, and if you trust them enough, end to end encryption should be enough 🙂

  1. 2 things that keep me coming back to WA
    1. Its’ user base, at least in India.
    2. Its’ smooth and polished UI. Although it doesn’t have many features, it is so simple, clean, and optimized for even low end processors. Have tried many messaging apps but this software is some pretty smooth stuff.

    • Agreed. Technically, it is a good app, but there are downsides of using the service as well.

      So, it all comes down to what users prefer.

  2. In the future, please fact check before you go spewing disinformation out into the world.
    I have been using Whatsapp for desktop for the last 3 years. The windows app was available long before I started using it.
    As a journalist, be learn how to do your job and fact check your future postings!

    • I’m afraid that’s still not a “native” standalone desktop app. You need an active Internet connection on your phone to use it.

      If I’m wrong feel free to correct me 🙂

      • Nope, your phone needs to be connected to the internet for WhatsApp to work on your PC. I use it daily for work. We are busy switching the Telegram.

    • Personally, I use those. But, If you don’t like those, I’d suggest you take a look at Riot.im, Rocket.chat, or any other similar open source messaging apps.

    • Just because Facebook owns it. I don’t trust it enough.

      If WhatsApp goes open-source, things may change. But, I don’t think they will be doing that anytime soon.

  3. Will hackers spare any app available today or in future? So what is the guarantee about privacy? Advocating an alternative messaging app will virtually boil down to an indirect propaganda for the alternate app, because whatsapp has been a powerful messaging tool with a long track record.

  4. WhatsApp doe have a native Windows app and yes it does require an internet connection like any messaging app. It is tied to your phone but this is due to the end to end encryption which makes it more secure.

    • Again, WhatsApp does not offer a standalone native app. You could just check out the alternatives (Signal/Session) mentioned to see what I meant.

        • That’s just a container for whatsapp web 🙂 “Standalone” refers to the ability of using the app without requiring Internet on your phone, just to be clear.

  5. Is this some sort of promotion for signal app? There are many other apps that provide these features though you’ve only mentioned signal constantly so as to get the readers mind hooked on Signal.Why not tell about all the apps out there which are just as safe and user friendly? Please clarify.

    • Thank you for pointing that out. I’ve mentioned both Signal and Session.

      For clarification – I don’t intend to confuse users with several options. The reason why I mentioned Signal primarily – 1) I use it personally (no affiliation).
      2) WhatsApp’s cofounder is a key member involved with it – so that gives some positive confidence to the reader to switch easily.

      Signal and Session – in my opinion the best alternatives to suggest. If you know about something better, feel free to mention it, I’ll add it to the article 🙂

    • I’ve also updated the disclaimer and made some changes by adding another alternative, Threema. Again, not affiliated with any of those.

  6. You trust Brian Acton? He made a strong promise to all his users early on and he broke that promise. He’s a scumbag in my book who’s laughing all the way to the bank. Fortunately, he has to live with himself.

  7. Great article for those not fluent with the tech vocabulary. Those dang Whatsapp groups make it so complicated to leave.

  8. Just read your article, if I did not know better I would ask what you want to do when you leave school.

    This was a very childish article. Reason one because Facebook own it.

    WhatsApp is secure, which is why Governments and Police/Security agencies don’t like it

    Open source is always being hacked because the bandit can download it, study it, see the weakness, exploit it.

    And then you recommend Signal.

  9. Ironically, i see FB, WhatsApp share buttons just below your blog title. Please practice what you preach, remove them because with them you’re “voluntarily” sending data to Facebook

    • Unless you click on them, you’re not sending any data to Facebook. I don’t see a problem there. Also, there’s already a disclaimer in place – I do not aim to boycott or defame any services, I’ve simply shared my opinion, it’s totally up to you what you do with it.

  10. Good try to dislodge WhatsApp. Try doing the same with Facebook and Google.
    When one is the best one becomes the biggest.
    Good luck to Johny come latelys.
    By the way a nice click bait article.

    • To be honest, this analogy does not make sense.

      It’s like saying “Why are you using a mobile phone with an Internet connection if you know that everything can be hacked?”

      Also, let’s face it – there are billions of users on WhatsApp right now.

      So, what if they want to let their friends on WhatsApp know about the possible risks of using it? 🙂

  11. Have you considered Telegram? It is in a way similar to Whatsapp but has some hefty extra features including self destructing messages, changing font options like underline, bold, etc. It might not be open source but it has a very nice AP (I got a bot that uses it and allows me to control my 3D printer). From what I heard it has even better security than Whatsapp. Dont forget to look at the animated emojis, their awesome.

    • Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

      Agreed, it’s a great messaging app. I’m not sure about the security though – I’ll take a look around and update the article accordingly.

    • Well, Instagram is a different story. Yes, it’s not a privacy-friendly app.

      But, then again, Instagram isn’t primarily a “messaging” app. It’s where users publicly choose to share images.

      If you are a privacy enthusiast, you shouldn’t be using it but there’s no proper alternative to Instagram yet.

  12. There are a lot of actually good reasons to avoid using Whatsapp, but this article is absolutely the worst written pile of garbage with such generic arguments that just shows how little effort went to it. The arguments given here would be torn apart like paper, doing more harm than good. Shame.

    • Thank you for the feedback.

      In this article, I focus on the privacy/security side of the service.

      If you could mention the arguments that could have been added here, I can choose to add them to improve the article for everyone. 🙂

    • It’s up to you. I’d suggest to try the alternatives mentioned in the article and you could also convince your friends/family to switch as well.

  13. This article is the epitome of bad research and terrible writing. It really shows that it comes from a place of such profound stupidity and click baiting that its quite amazing. Instead of making well thought out arguments about the actual issues faced by a large messaging platform that is whatsapp, it makes weak generalized arguments, which can be taken apart with ease. So lets do that.

    On the count of Whatsapp being owned by Facebook; ergo it inherits all of facebook’s flaws ignores the fact that Whatsapp was independently developed and sold to facebook, This fact in itself provides safety net between the disaster that is Facebook and whatsapp.
    Yes, facebook has seen some major security and privacy breaches but it is essential to understand that these are repercussions from Web2.0 Days when inter connectivity between applications through APIs and a more open Internet was touted as the future. What we see as flaws today were seen as features and opportunities for development in the 2000s. Social media was not designed to shape public opinion and important issues by data harvesting and individualized propaganda, these are problems that have arisen today, problems we are still trying to understand.
    However, do not mistake this as support for Facebook’s policy, rather consider it as context for when these apps were developed and how those parameters have shifted. Whatsapp being essentially a One to One messaging platform is inherently protected from the pitfalls that have befallen facebook. It has End to End encryption (A fact that was curiously missing from your article). How much facebook interferes with whatsapp in the future remains to be seen, so far it has run without significant interference.
    What this section SHOULD have been is How Facebook Is planning to Integrate Instagram Whatsapp and Facbook Messenger’s underlying infrastructure https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/25/technology/facebook-instagram-whatsapp-messenger.html

    This is a worrying development considering that huge data breaches Facebook saw recently. The article should have been discussing how stitching together the Apps How it could allow access to user behaviour patterns (not messages) on Instagram and Whatsapp. But instead what we get is the screenshot of a tweet from the whatsapp founder and a linked article on Internal politics and falling out over adware and monetization policy from 2018. Pathetic

    Moving on, “whatsapp isnt Open source hence its bad” backed up by a link to an article that is discussing open source code from a DEVELOPMENT STANDPOINT. How is this relevant? It talks about how its easier to make apps with Open Source and how making new proprietary code is uneconomical, how open source software is somehow more focused on functional features, and how community devs help improve the application. Yes, this is great yet completely irrelevant seeing that whatsapp is an already finished application with a massive userbase and an existing in-house devteam. Proprietary Code doesn’t automatically mean worse, infact what is considered the gold standard of messaging apps imessage is completely locked off. If you have the resources to create and maintain proprietary software there’s no reason to not pursue it, considering that open source software is extremely difficult to monetize and sell and ends up relying on ads for sustenance. There can be positives to using open source code, it allows for the community to find and remove bugs and exploits faster than what devs traditionally can. More opportunities for Plugins and community features. However these arent pressing issues for whatsapp from a security standpoint and hardly warrant a reason to uninstall.

    Next up, Whatsapp facing several security issues, yes whatsapp has faced more security issues than other apps such as Threema, Signal, Session. However just comparing number of security flaws produces a skewed statistic, Of course whatsapp faces the most attacks and exploits, it is the largest messaging platform in existence by far, same reason why most viruses target Windows instead of Mac and Linux. Its natural,the larger your presence; the more unwanted attention your application will attract. Patches for these exploits were quickly deployed and so far response to attacks has been sufficient. Considering these factors
    whatsapp has fared well in comparison to unproven alternatives such as Threema, Signal, Session, whose ability to cater to large user bases remains untested.

    The article then goes on to make what can only be described as de creme of journalistic gibberish.

    “if you take a look at WhatsApp’s privacy policy, there’s a lot of things going on”

    Wow

    and if that wasn’t enough, instead of linking to a relevant article explaining whats wrong with whatsapp’s
    policy, it is literally a link to the actual privacy policy. Thats it. Amazing work
    What happened here? what are these “things” that seem to be “going on”? Did you fail to understand the policy? Is it too complicated? is it Hiding something nefarious in its legal language? is there nothing wrong with it? Is it a choose your own adventure style of writing? Please do better than this. Currently this entire sections is better left out than in.

    And finally to address Whatsapp as the propagator of Fake news and Rumors. Again i hark back to the point made in the beginning of this comment, Our failure to use social media as a forum to post images and interact with people instead turning it into a tool to control and shape public opinion and society, a problem that reared its head long after these applications went out. There is no algorithm for truth, a program cant determine what is “Fake News” and what is “real news” what is a “normal message” what is polarizing hate speech. Yes links can be disabled and the spread of forwards can be curbed to an extent, with the new “forwarded” tag appearing above such messages. That hardly changes the status quo people will just copy paste the text and Peer to Peer encryption will protect the content from review.

    This is a problem that is present in any form of non monitored communication. What should be done then? get rid of encryption? have all messages go through stringent review and weed out the hoaxes, the false statements? Police the communication of 2 billion people? To whose standards? The article seems to make this out as if its an easy problem that can be fixed by the stroke of a key, merely making a childish statement that whatsapp has failed to curb the problem. NO ONE has solved this problem.

    You cant have your cake and eat it too. Cant have complete privacy and control what people message each other. Lastly this article could’ve have been something decent, talking about real issues such as

    How Facebook is building a monopoly over social communication and choking out competition
    How integrating the the 3 platforms into a single infrastructure can spell disaster for privacy
    The bill being currently debated in the US parliament that could get rid of all end to end encryption
    Govts forcing communication apps to install backdoors to allow access to programs such as Xkeyscore

    Instead it is a steaming pile of bullshit aimed to garnering clicks. Fix it and next time do some research.

  14. This article is the epitome of bad research and even worse writing. It really shows that it comes from a place of such profound stupidity and click baiting that its quite amazing. Instead of making well thought out arguments about the actual issues faced by a large messaging platform that is whatsapp, it makes weak generalized arguments, which can be taken apart with ease. So lets do that.

    On the count of Whatsapp being owned by Facebook; ergo it inherits all of facebook’s flaws ignores the fact that Whatsapp was independently developed and sold to facebook, This fact in itself provides safety net between the disaster that is Facebook and whatsapp.
    Yes, facebook has seen some major security and privacy breaches but it is essential to understand that these are repercussions from Web2.0 Days when inter connectivity between applications through APIs and a more open Internet was touted as the future. What we see as flaws today were seen as features and opportunities for development in the 2000s. Social media was not designed to shape public opinion and important issues by data harvesting and individualized propaganda, these are problems that have arisen today, problems we are still trying to understand.
    However, do not mistake this as support for Facebook’s policy, rather consider it as context for when these apps were developed and how those parameters have shifted. Whatsapp being essentially a One to One messaging platform is inherently protected from the pitfalls that have befallen facebook. It has End to End encryption (A fact that was curiously missing from your article). How much facebook interferes with whatsapp in the future remains to be seen, so far it has run without significant interference.
    What this section SHOULD have been is How Facebook Is planning to Integrate Instagram Whatsapp and Facbook Messenger’s underlying infrastructure https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/25/technology/facebook-instagram-whatsapp-messenger.html

    This is a worrying development considering that huge data breaches Facebook saw recently. The article should have been discussing how stitching together the Apps How it could allow access to user behaviour patterns (not messages) on Instagram and Whatsapp. But instead what we get is the screenshot of a tweet from the whatsapp founder and a linked article on Internal politics and falling out over adware and monetization policy from 2018. Pathetic

    Moving on, “whatsapp isnt Open source hence its bad” backed up by a link to an article that is discussing open source code from a DEVELOPMENT STANDPOINT. How is this relevant? It talks about how its easier to make apps with Open Source and how making new proprietary code is uneconomical, how open source software is somehow more focused on functional features, and how community devs help improve the application. Yes, this is great yet completely irrelevant seeing that whatsapp is an already finished application with a massive userbase and an existing in-house devteam. Proprietary Code doesn’t automatically mean worse, infact what is considered the gold standard of messaging apps imessage is completely locked off. If you have the resources to create and maintain proprietary software there’s no reason to not pursue it, considering that open source software is extremely difficult to monetize and sell and ends up relying on ads for sustenance. There can be positives to using open source code, it allows for the community to find and remove bugs and exploits faster than what devs traditionally can. More opportunities for Plugins and community features. However these arent pressing issues for whatsapp from a security standpoint and hardly warrant a reason to uninstall.

    Next up, Whatsapp facing several security issues, yes whatsapp has faced more security issues than other apps such as Threema, Signal, Session. However just comparing number of security flaws produces a skewed statistic, Of course whatsapp faces the most attacks and exploits, it is the largest messaging platform in existence by far, same reason why most viruses target Windows instead of Mac and Linux. Its natural,the larger your presence; the more unwanted attention your application will attract. Patches for these exploits were quickly deployed and so far response to attacks has been sufficient. Considering these factors
    whatsapp has fared well in comparison to unproven alternatives such as Threema, Signal, Session, whose ability to cater to large user bases remains untested.

    The article then goes on to make what can only be described as de creme of journalistic gibberish.

    “if you take a look at WhatsApp’s privacy policy, there’s a lot of things going on”

    Wow

    and if that wasn’t enough, instead of linking to a relevant article explaining whats wrong with whatsapp’s
    policy, it is literally a link to the actual privacy policy. Thats it. Amazing work
    What happened here? what are these “things” that seem to be “going on”? Did you fail to understand the policy? Is it too complicated? is it Hiding something nefarious in its legal language? is there nothing wrong with it? Is it a choose your own adventure style of writing? Please do better than this. Currently this entire sections is better left out than in.

    And finally to address Whatsapp as the propagator of Fake news and Rumors. Again i hark back to the point made in the beginning of this comment, Our failure to use social media as a forum to post images and interact with people instead turning it into a tool to control and shape public opinion and society, a problem that reared its head long after these applications went out. There is no algorithm for truth, a program cant determine what is “Fake News” and what is “real news” what is a “normal message” what is polarizing hate speech. Yes links can be disabled and the spread of forwards can be curbed to an extent, with the new “forwarded” tag appearing above such messages. That hardly changes the status quo people will just copy paste the text and Peer to Peer encryption will protect the content from review.

    This is a problem that is present in any form of non monitored communication. What should be done then? get rid of encryption? have all messages go through stringent review and weed out the hoaxes, the false statements? Police the communication of 2 billion people? To whose standards? The article seems to make this out as if its an easy problem that can be fixed by the stroke of a key, merely making a childish statement that whatsapp has failed to curb the problem. NO ONE has solved this problem.

    You cant have your cake and eat it too. Cant have complete privacy and control what people message each other. Lastly this article could’ve have been something decent, talking about real issues such as

    How Facebook is building a monopoly over social communication and choking out competition
    How integrating the the 3 platforms into a single infrastructure can spell disaster for privacy
    The bill being currently debated in the US parliament that could get rid of all end to end encryption
    Govts forcing communication apps to install backdoors to allow access to programs such as Xkeyscore

    Instead it is a steaming pile of bullshit aimed to garnering clicks. Fix it and next time do some research.

    • Thank you for the feedback. While I agree that end to end encryption, the unification of the platforms, and better clarity on the privacy policy can be added.

      I’d disagree with the rest. (Also, this an opinion article – just to be clear, I’ll try my best to improve on those points).

      – End to end encryption is fine, but how it handles your data isn’t transparent. It still stores the message in its server if the receiver is offline. Metadata is still the king here even if there’s encryption (I left it out, yes, I agree). I’ll update this with clarity.

      – Considering that this reflects my opinion, I’m more comfortable using open-source software. Period.

      – It doesn’t matter if the userbase is big enough to have exploits. If you have the choice to go with options that work and are more secure (or being less exploited according to you), one can comfortably do that. That’s the advantage of having alternatives, right?

      – True, Fake news is still a thing for all. And, it cannot be tackled easily – yes. However, the easiest spot is WhatsApp. So, if you can choose to use an alternative app that doesn’t involve spam, why wouldn’t you?

      Again, I thank you for describing the issues. This was totally my opinion, I’d love to improve on it. 🙂

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