WhatsApp Limits Forward Messages to Fight Spread of Misinformation

Amid Corona Virus (COVID19) outbreak, WhatsApp has seen much false information is spread in its platform and has decided to limit the maximum forward recipient to 1 user.

Social media and modern messaging apps are causing a lot of spam, mainly because of the way, reach and speed information is shared, without validation of the information. In a recent development WhatsApp, the world’s No.1 free messaging app has limited the Forward messages to fight the spread of misinformation in its platform.

Earlier in 2019, WhatsApp reduced this limit to 5 recipients. Looks like this limit too was not enough to curb the fake news from getting viral. Most users believe these forwards, without checking the sanctity of the message or information.

Points to Note

  • WhatsApp is now owned by Facebook
  • WhatsApp has over 2 billion users
  • The Limit of Forwards was 5 chats earlier, now reduced to 1
  • WhatsApp introduced Forward tag for the forwarded messages

With this measure, WhatsApp already sees a 25% dip in forwards. Since WhatsApp encrypts all the messages end-to-end, it cannot read the message to validate, but it relies on metadata of a message to identify a message sent on its platform.

Combating Corona Virus

WhatsApp & its parent Facebook, have joined hands with WHO, NGOs, and many governments to fight COVID19. They have donated and as well as working with governments and taking some steps like this one to avoid the spread of misinformation. Recently WhatsApp bot has been launched by the Indian Government to ensure the official information is reached to the masses.

A blog post has been posted on the WhatsApp official website on this measure.

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