WhatsApp Introduces New Limit On forwarding Messages To Help Fight The Spread Of Misinformation
WhatsApp is introducing a new limit on the frequently a message can be shared on its platform in its latest effort to join other platforms in combating the spread of misinformation at the time of COVID19.
Whatsapp – the Facebook-owned instant messaging platform said that any message that has been forwarded more than five times (5X) will now face a new limit that will prevent a user from forwarding it to more than one chat (contact) at a time.
However, this restriction would not be rolled out globally at the moment. A spokesperson told TechCrunch that WhatsApp will roll out this change to users worldwide today.
Today’s move builds on WhatsApp’s effort from last year when it limited users from forwarding a message to more than five users at once. The service, used by more than 2 billion users, said the move allowed it to reduce the volume of message forwards globally by 25%.
In a blog post by the company – Whatsapp wrote; “Is all forwarding bad? Certainly not. 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.”
Facebook has moved to take several efforts in recent weeks as the world grapples with the coronavirus pandemic. Last month, Facebook announced free developer tools for Messenger to combat COVID-19, and introduced an info centre atop of the news feed to notably showcasing reliable information.
Additionally, the company is working with nonprofit organizations such as the WHO to build helplines and has committed to donating millions of dollars. The World Health Organization’s helpline on Messenger and WhatsApp has already reached more than 10 million users, days after its launch. The Indian government also launched a helpdesk bot on WhatsApp last month.
WhatsApp has also been testing a feature on the beta version of its Android app that gives users the ability to quickly comb through the web with the text or video they have received for more context.
A spokesperson said the platform plans to roll out this feature in the near future.
Source: Whatsapp, Techcrunch