WhatsApp Limits Forwarded Messages to Slow Spread of Misinformation

Over-forwarding of fake news can feel overwhelming

Stopping the spread of misinformation is of paramount importance as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect our communities.

WhatsApp app on iPhone
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Popular Facebook-owned WhatsApp has introduced stricter limits on messages that are forwarded more than five times. As of last year, these messages are already labeled with a double arrow to help users know they're less personal and did not originate with a close contact. Now they can only be forwarded to one chat at a time.

Why? The WhatsApp team says it has 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." It's important to the company to slow down and hopefully stop the transmission of such false messages.

By the Numbers

As of November 2019, WhatsApp had:

  • 1.5 billion active users across 180 countries
  • 500 million users daily
  • More than 65 million messages sent each day
  • 400 million users in India
  • 2 million users in China

Proving it: WhatsApp has limited forwarded messages in the past, and saw a 25 percent decrease in the number of message forwards globally. This is another attempt to do the same.

Bottom line: If nothing else, keeping the types of annoying message forwards from the chat network will make the experience more personal for those of us who rely on WhatsApp to stay in touch with close friends and family. It could even help stop the spread of potentially life-threatening misinformation from spreading, as well.

Via: Engadget

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