WhatsApp to impose new limit on forwarding to fight fake news

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WhatsApp to impose new limit on forwarding to fight fake news

WhatsApp, the American freeware, cross-platform messaging and voice over internet protocol (VoIP) owned by Facebook, announced on Tuesday that it would limit forwards of frequently-forwarded messages to just one chat to stop the spread of misinformation about coronavirus disease (Covid-19).

WhatsApp issued a statement, where it said that the new feature would be rolled out 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.

Messages that have been forwarded five times are known as frequently-forwarded messages and are marked by two arrows on top. WhatsApp introduced the distinction in January 2019 to impede the virality of messages.

The limit will be a global one and will be led with curbs in India. WhatsApp said that the move was aimed at the spread of misinformation about Covid-19. ‘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.

WhatsApp is also beta-testing a new feature wherein a magnifying glass icon is displayed next to frequently-forwarded messages to allow users to find out more information about them. The feature, WhatsApp said, gives users the option to send the message 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 rumours. This feature is currently in testing and we’ll keep you updated on the next steps,’ the statement added.

(This is an unedited and auto-generated story and may not have modified or edited by Quickclarity news)

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