Tuesday’s WhatsApp said it would strengthen scrutiny of the potential for private messaging apps to spread false information related to the coronavirus pandemic, and set new limits on message forwarding. Starting today, messages identified as “highly forwarded” (messages sent through chains of five or more people) can only be forwarded to one person. This move is designed to reduce the speed at which information travels through WhatsApp and place truth and fiction in a fairer position. “We know that many users deliver useful information and fun videos, memes, meaningful reflections or prayers. In recent weeks, people have also used WhatsApp to organize public support moments for frontline health workers, ”a company that is part of Facebook said in a blog post. “But we’ve seen a significant increase in the number of users that we feel overwhelmed and can contribute to the spread of false information. To keep WhatsApp as a place for personal conversation, it’s important to slow down the propagation of these messages.
In many parts of WhatsApp, users were able to deliver a single message to up to 256 people with just a few taps. Initially, these messages weren’t labeled forward, and WhatsApp’s end-to-end encryption prevented authorities from using the app to express hatred or provoke violence. This caused the crisis in India where WhatsApp was associated with mob violence. In 2018, WhatsApp began experimenting with limiting the number of times a message could be forwarded. We also started labeling forwarded messages for the first time and added two arrows to indicate that the message was forwarded repeatedly. Last year, the company began limiting the number of people who can forward a message to five. Soft limit: There is nothing that can prevent you from continuing to deliver the same message to others. However, according to WhatsApp, the more friction, the slower the overall delivery speed helped. Delivery has declined 25% worldwide over the past year.
However, with the surge in usage related to pandemics, attention is being focused on the methods that WhatsApp can use to disseminate false information. Last month, CNN and other media outlets reported using the app to share various misconceptions about COVID-19 “treatment” and hoaxes about military operations related to the disease. Was found. “Don’t share unconfirmed information about the Whatsapp Group,” said Ireland Prime Minister Leovaradokar. In response, WhatsApp promoted a bot created by the World Health Organization (WHO), providing information about diseases investigated by medical experts. This application has been used by more than 10 million people. WhatsApp also donated a million dollars to the international fact-finding network.