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Viber Design Flaws Exposed; How to Know You are Blacklisted?

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Viber privacy flaws have come to the fore, following the faulty contact blocking system which should ideally allow users to shield themselves from unsolicited and unwanted chat mates.

This compromises the security of the person being stalked.

The fact that there is no explicit indicator that a person has blocked you on Viber has both useful and useless reasons as to why Viber would want you or your partner not to know your blacklist status.

Blissful Ignorance

There is no tangible way of telling whether you have been blocked by a fellow Viber user. Viber is implicit and indirect. It does not want to injure the ego of a proud user that he/she has been red carded by a favorite chat mate. What Viber does is that it politely hides your messages from reaching your blocked contact. The contact will not know why you did not reply, because unlike WhatsApp that has double blue ticks to ascertain read messages, Viber does not provide a delivery status message for you to be dead sure that you are being ignored.

Invasive

Perhaps Viber does not want to intrude into your privacy like WhatsApp does. It is also a bad thing for Viber to remain silent on the delivery status of messages. This may cause anxiety on the part of the sender and even stress if the message was urgent. The poor feedback mechanism may be misconstrued to mean a cover up for a faulty system that is not sure of itself and cannot get its technical tasks right.

Be Sure

The only way to be sure you have been blocked is by being told by the person who blocked you that indeed the reason why they are not receiving your messages is because they blacklisted you. The dreaded shortlist of the offending chat mates is the last membership any active chat mate would want to join, albeit by being added.

There is no known automatic way you can remove yourself from the block list. Only the person who blocked you can manually remove you from the list.

However, you can ditch the old SIM card whose line was blocked and acquire a new one. You must create a new Viber account so that you can reconnect with the person who blocked you. Unfortunately, if they discover you dodged their blocking by acquiring a new SIM card they may block you again. It’s better to solve the underlying problem that makes you be blocked than just purchasing a new line.

Fundamental Flaw

If you block someone he or she should ideally not be able to send you messages successfully. However, Viber is faulty since you can block person and still that person sees your messages. This happens when you join a common group and the administrator invites both of you to contribute. Despite the fact that one of you blocked the other, the overriding fact that you are members of the same chat group makes it possible for the two of you to see each other’s chat messages.

In future, Viber should consider debugging this block blunder because it is likely to compromise the secrecy of the users who want to get rid of an annoying chat mate.