There’s some massive scrutiny on the potential of the private message apps to spread fake news about the coronavirus pandemic. In the light of this important issue, WhatsApp said today that it would place new limits on forwarding messages.
New change in WhatsApp
It’s been revealed by The Verge that starting today, messages that have been identified as highly forwarded (which means sent through a chain of at least five people) can only be forwarded to a single person.
Such a move has been designed to reduce the speed with which info is moving through the app.
“We know many users forward helpful information, as well as funny videos, memes, and reflections or prayers they find meaningful. In recent weeks, people have also used WhatsApp to organize public moments of support for frontline health workers,” the company stated in a blog post.
WhatsApp, which is a part of Facebook also revealed that “However, we’ve seen a significant increase in the amount of forwarding which users have told us can feel overwhelming and can contribute to the spread of misinformation. We believe it’s important to slow the spread of these messages down to keep WhatsApp a place for personal conversation.”
Users could easily forward a message to as much as 256 people
You may be aware of the fact that for much of WhatsApp’s existence, it’s been really easy for users to forward a single message to 256 people with only a few taps.
These messages were not labeled as forwards, and the end-to-end encryption in the application could make it really impossible for authorities to determine who might be using the app to spread fake news, hate speech, calls to violence, and so on.
In other WhatsApp related news, in a previous article, we reported that recording a video call on WhatsApp might be useful if you want to interview someone. And, if you have an Android smartphone, there are some easy tips and tricks to follow.