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British Army adopts WhatsApp for some formal orders because of coronavirus isolation.

| 2020

The British Army has issued a formal order due to the coronavirus outbreak: commands issued over WhatsApp are now legally binding. Gareth Corfield reports on The Register.

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In some cases at least, commands issued over WhatsApp are now legally binding for British troops (Picture source: Cpl Tom Evans/British MoD)

In written orders posted to a Ministry of Defence intranet site, an Army unit told its soldiers that from now on, orders delivered over WhatsApp are to be treated just as seriously as written instructions delivered through the usual chain of command. The order itself, part of which has been seen by The Register, said: "All personnel are to be contactable at all times via their mobile phone. Orders and Sqn direction will now be passed directly through WhatsApp and all work-related information passed across this means is to be considered an order".

The Register verified from the full screenshot (not published) that the WhatsApp order was posted on the internal Defence Gateway intranet.

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