Popular cross-platform messaging app WhatsApp is imposing new restrictions on forwarded messages. The Facebook-owned app will now allow frequently-forwarded messages to only one chat per user. WhatsApp believes it will help in curbing the spread of misinformation related to coronavirus disease (Covid-19).
WhatsApp put out an official statement revealing the new forward limit and announced that rollout will commence from Tuesday.
“We wanted to highlight a feature change that WhatsApp is rolling out today to slow the spread of misinformation. Today we are announcing a new limit so frequently-forwarded messages can only be forwarded to one chat at a time. This limit kicks in once a message has been previously forwarded five times or more,” the statement said.
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Back in January 2019, WhatsApp came up with the distinction of frequently-forwarded messages. As per Whatsapp, a message that has been forwarded 5 times will be deemed as frequently-forwarded messages. Whatsapp marks them with two arrows on the top.
This limit on frequently-forwarded messages is being imposed globally including India. As per WhatsApp, this will help in restricting the spread of misinformation about the Covid-19 epidemic.
“This is the latest limit that WhatsApp has set, making us one of the few products that have taken steps to constrain virality and place limits on how people can send messages,” the statement added.
To fight misinformation Whatsapp is beta-testing another feature where users will be able to verify information from the web through a single tap. As per Whatsapp, it is testing a magnifying glass icon which will be displayed next to frequently-forwarded messages that will lead people to a web search leading them to news results or other sources of information.
“Double-checking these messages before forwarding may help reduce the spread of rumors. This feature is currently in testing and we’ll keep you updated on the next steps,” the statement added.