WhatsApp Makes Effort to Prevent Coronavirus False Rumors
WhatsApp announced on Tuesday that the messaging system will be limiting the amount of times a "frequently forwarded" message can be mass forwarded. This comes as an attempt to halt the spread of misinformation, especially related to the coronavirus, or COVID-19 outbreak.
WhatsApp's adjustment means that users can only forward "frequently forwarded" messages to one chat at a time. A "frequently forwarded" message is considered one that has already been forward five times.
The spread of rumors or false information is hard to control on a service like WhatsApp, since the messages sent are encrypted. Other platforms, like Facebook, which owns WhatsApp, are easier to regulate through the ban and removal of posts and misleading content. However, messages sent between recipients on WhatsApp cannot be seen by others.
"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," WhatsApp said in a blog post.
WhatsApp also felt the need to readjust features on the messaging app last year when it limited the amount of forwards one can do from twenty to five.