WhatsApp is a common messaging platform and some Fellows have suggested that AFLI use it either as a replacement or alongside Workplace for engaging with Fellows. Here are some of the reasons why AFLI has selected Workplace and why it will use it solely as its official platform for engaging with Fellows and Associates. Note that while Fellows are welcome to chat with friends in the Fellowship in groups on WhatsApp that for the reasons provided below, AFLI cannot respond officially on that platform.  The first two points in particular are important as to why AFLI won't engage officially with Fellows on platforms other than Workplace.

GDPR compliance: WhatsApp is not GDPR compliant; Workplace is. WhatsApp exposes AFLI to litigation around issues of compliance with GDPR regarding privacy and/or personal data. If a user should ask AFLI for all of their data after communicating with AFLI via WhatsApp, AFLI has no ability to comply. 

Moderation: WhatsApp provides no relevant tools regarding moderation in group chats. Since issues that may be discussed are likely to touch painful or controversial areas of discourse, consideration must be given to the moderation of both speciific comments or users who engage in conduct that diminishes AFLI's ethos of servant leadership and respect.  Workplace offers tools to be able address removal of comments, blocking of users, or moderation of comments from specific users.  

Facebook ownership and privacy:  It is true that Facebook has a poor privacy track record.  Workplace, however, is designed specifically for corporate use, and its data management cannot negatively impact the intellectual property rights of the companies using the platform, some of which include healthcare companies and corporations as large as Walmart who have the clout to sue for massive damages.  It obtains revenue for the platform by corporations paying for it, rather than from using data for advertising.  WhatsApp is Facebook-owned as well, so one cannot object to using Workplace on grounds of its ownership.

WhatsApp chat has messaging, voice and video calling: Workplace chat offers the same features on Android and Apple phones. For mobile use, the chat app and the Workplace must both be downloaded.

WhatsApp offers group chat: WhatsApp offers only sequential chat:  Workplace offers users the ability to comment asynchronously to a post, or to a reply and even to reply to a reply rather than the original post, none of which Workplace offers.  This ensures conversations are significantly improved, as people can respond to a comment later and are not forced to keep up with the scroll.

Notifications: WhatsApp provides notifications on mobile phones.  Workplace provides email notifications as well as notification in the app and on a mobile phone screen. Workplace Chat does, too.

Groups: WhatsApp offers the ability to create groups easily.  To set up a group in which a Fellow would like to engage with other Fellows for a project or to obtain AFLI input or assistance, simply contact an AFLI staff member and if the group does not already exist, it will be created.

Plethora of apps: Some Fellows don't want to download and install another app on their phones - or two if one wants to use Workplace Chat - and then have to log into multiple platforms. Like WhatsApp, Workplace retains account logins and doesn't require logging in for each use, so once installed and an account set up, it is like WhatsApp - a one-click operation to start the app. 

 

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