WhatsApp Widely Rolls Out The Feature That Will Help The Platform To Curb The Spread of Misinformation

Forward messages are in many ways a really common part of the WhatsApp experience, and the fact of the matter is that many people use forwarding for a lot of different reasons. However, as of late this feature has become rather toxic and does more harm than good and a big part of the reason why that is the case has to do with the fact that there is a lot of misinformation going around with regards to the coronavirus outbreak, and the forward feature is what is allowing the fake news to disseminate to the extent that it currently is all in all.

Now, turning off the forwarding feature altogether would be the sort of feature that might just end up doing a lot more harm than good due to the reason that people forward all kinds of things and not all of these things are necessarily going to have anything to do with the coronavirus or other areas of misinformation in general. However, steps had to be taken in order to stem the distribution of this infodemic, and WhatsApp had to take action before things started to get out of hand.

Luckily, the instant messaging platform owned by Facebook is indeed taking a few steps to make things like this a little less likely to have too much of an impact on you. The forwarding feature is now being restricted. Whereas previously you could forward a message to up to five people, now the way it works is that you would be able to only forward it to a single person.

Whatsapp's new message forwarding restriction is widely available, on both the stable (v2.20.108) and beta (v2.20.122) versions. As revealed earlier, this limit doesn't affect regular messages (which is still limited to five forwarding at a time), the new limit will affect frequently forwarded massages.

This feature is most certainly a step in the right direction, one that would start to make it less likely that a false piece of information would be able to get very far. More measures should definitely be taken, though.

Screenshots: Androidpolice.

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