WhatsApp limits viral message forwarding to a single person

WhatsApp
WhatsApp

WhatsApp is one of the fastest mediums of information transfer. So, the app has also become a medium to spread misinformation. At the time of coronavirus pandemic, the spread of misinformation is really dangerous. So, the company has decided to put a limit on the forward feature.

Starting today, WhatsApp viral messages can only be forwarded to a single person. Here, viral messages mean messages that have been sent through a chain of five or more people. The concept of the viral message was introduced las year. These messages are labeled with double arrows to indicate that they didn’t originate from close contact and your contacts are just forwarding them. These viral messages can now only be forwarded to one chat at a time.

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“We believe it’s important to slow the spread of these messages down to keep WhatsApp a place for personal conversation,” the company said in a statement.

Unlike other social media apps, content moderation is not an option on WhatsApp because chats are protected by end-to-end encryption.

Last year, WhatsApp added a limit to forwarded messages and allowed forwarding to only 5 contacts at a time. This led to a 25% decrease in message forwards globally. Now after limiting it to just 1 chat at a time, it will further discourage the viral message forwarding.

Along with regular messaging, WhatsApp is also used to spread misinformation. Last month the app was also used to spread false information about “cures” for COVID-19. In response, the company promoted the WHO bot to provide trusted information. WhatsApp also donated $1 million to the International Fact-Checking Network.

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