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WhatsApp witnesses 70 percent drop in viral message forwards after imposing limits

The Facebook-owned messaging app said in a statement that due to the limits that were applied on forwarded messages there was a clear slump in the number of highly forwarded messages sent on WhatsApp

twitter-logoAnkita Chakravarti | April 27, 2020 | Updated 16:22 IST

Highlights

  • hatsApp has slowed down the vitality of the highly forwarded messages by as much as 70 percent
  • Earlier in March, WhatsApp had applied a limit on the forwarded messages
  • WhatsApp is also working on a feature that would allow users to verify the messages they have received on Google.

In order to curb misinformation and fake news, WhatsApp had introduced a feature that would limit the forwarded messages to one chat at a time. But now we hear that the new feature by WhatsApp has slowed down the vitality of the highly forwarded messages by as much as 70 percent across the globe weeks after introducing the feature.

The Facebook-owned messaging app said in a statement that due to the limits that were applied on forwarded messages there was a clear slump in the number of highly forwarded messages sent on WhatsApp. "WhatsApp is committed to doing our part to tackle viral messages. We recently introduced a limit to sharing "highly forwarded messages" to just one chat. Since putting into place this new limit, globally there has been a 70% reduction in the number of highly forwarded messages sent on WhatsApp. This change is helping keep WhatsApp a place for personal and private conversations," a WhatsApp spokesperson told TechCrunch in a statement.

This clearly means that after WhatsApp imposed a limit on forwarded messages people are unable to spread or rather forward fake news related to COVID-19. Now there could be a possibility that most messages that you receive on WhatsApp could be authentic. However, you should never believe in the messages that you get on WhatsApp blindly. Before sending it out to people, always verify the news on Google. The messaging app is also working on a feature that would allow users to verify the messages they have received on Google. The feature is still under development and the company might roll out the feature anytime soon.

Earlier in March, WhatsApp had applied a limit on the forwarded messages in the view of the untoward incidents that took place due to fake news. This meant that the messages that were classified as frequently forwarded messages or sent over five times could be forwarded to a single chat at a time.

"We know many users forward helpful information, as well as funny videos, memes, and reflections or prayers they find meaningful. In recent weeks, people have also used WhatsApp to organize public moments of support for frontline health workers. However, 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 had said in a blog post.

Earlier in 2019, WhatsApp had labeled the forwarded messages with double arrows so that the receiver that the messages are not original but forwarded from other sources.

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Tags: WhatsApp
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