WhatsApp: A “Martinelli” video that will contaminate your phone? No evidence to this effect

A false alarm which is experiencing a resurgence in popularity at the start of the year. A reader alerted the Fake off section of 20 Minutes on the broadcast of a message on Whatsapp, alerting about a mysterious “Martinelli” video. The text, full of grammatical errors, advises messaging users not to open the video, because it “enters your phone and nothing what you do does not fix it”. The text also recommends not opening “a message for WhatsApp Gold”.

Here is the text of this message, which includes some variations according to the versions circulating: “Hello to all. Just a little info: Today the radio was talking about WhatsApp Gold. There is a video that will be launched tomorrow at WhatsApp called Martinelli. Don’t open it. It gets into your phone and nothing you do fixes it. Spread the word if you know someone. If you receive a message to update WhatsApp Gold Do not open it! They just announced that hacking is serious. Send it to everyone. »

On Facebook, many Internet users relay the message to warn their contacts.


There is no evidence that a “Martinelli” video is currently circulating on WhatsApp. As for a “gold” version of messaging, there is currently none. Solicited by 20 Minutes, WhatsApp did not give following our requests, but the messaging service, owned by the Meta group, has not announced the launch of such a version.

The vague wording of the message ( What radio alerted? When? Who is this “Martinelli”?), its approximate syntax are all signals that raise awareness of the unreliability of the message. Be careful, however, if you receive a link inviting you to download WhatsApp Gold: as

spotted the British fact-checkers of FullFact, sites offer you to download an application with this name. This is not the official version of WhatsApp and downloading these dubious apps puts you at risk.

In 2017, already, the Spanish police denounced an “intoxication”

The false alarm on the “Martinelli” video has been circulating for at least 2017: in July of this year, the Spanish police described a similar message as “brainwashing”. This message resurfaces regularly in several countries: it has already circulated in the United Kingdom, the United States, Italy, India, the Netherlands…

To have the correct version of WhatsApp, be sure to update the application regularly. If you have any doubts about a message you receive, it is best not to relay it. It is also advisable not to click on dubious links.