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WhatsApp - harvesting phone numbers

I sometimes get WhatsApp message that have been sent to hundreds of different Hong Kong phone numbers.  It appears that these are sent so that when they get a response they know that the phone number is active.  Cue even more annoying junk sales calls.

I did a Google search but I can’t find any information about this. 

So does anyone know whether the sender already has the confirmation (that the number is active) when the message is shown as delivered?  Does it matter whether you exit the group (which definitely sends a confirmation message)?

Why doesn’t WhatsApp allow me to simply ignore the group?  Or is there a way to do this that I can’t figure out?

Might not cause eye strain

Another stoopid letter in the SCMP:

E-readers might result in eye strain

Some correspondents have commented on the benefits of e-reading. I agree with those who argue that it can revive people's interest in literature.

However, I think there are some disadvantages to intensive reading of books and other material on these devices.

You can spend too long reading books on these screens and suffer eye strain.

Also, people on low incomes cannot afford the e-reader, and find it cheaper to purchase a novel.

Andy Lai Chin-pang , Tai Wai

He must surely mean a Kindle  or Nook e-reader, the whole point being that e-ink doesn’t cause eye strain.  Of course, an iPad or Kindle Fire is a different matter.