WhatsApp limits forwarding to curb spread of fake news during COVID-19
Category: #headlines  By Mateen Dalal  Date: 2020-04-08
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WhatsApp limits forwarding to curb spread of fake news during COVID-19

WhatsApp, the renowned internet-based messaging app, has reportedly announced plans to start putting a considerable limit on message forwarding, in an effort to curb the spread of false information in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Facebook owned app is further expanding on the measures that it put in place globally last year, which had limited the number of times an individual could send forwarded messages to only five chats at once.

WhatsApp has now limited the number of chats in which users could send forwarded content to only one at a time. The company stated that there has been substantial increase in the amount of forwarding which could led to spread of false news. The company further believes that it is essential to slow down the spread of these messages and to keep it as a platform for personal conversation.

The announcement comes after a false conspiracy theory connecting 5G mobile networks with the coronavirus pandemic prompted individuals to burn down cell phone towers in the U.K.

As per Facebook, the company has started to erase content that calls for people to attack 5G masts and cell towers. The attacks also prompted the U.K. government requesting social media platforms take action to curb the spread of such claims.

Facebook has also been working with WHO and other health institutions to deliver correct information to users. Since WhatsApp has end-to-end encryption, it has rendered Facebook unable to actively view or even moderate content on WhatsApp.

WhatsApp is also labeling messages that have been mostly forwarded thereby helping its users to identify the false information and rumors. The company also stated that its past limits on forwarding of message had led to reduction of 25% in the spread of message across the world. The platform started imposing limits on sharing of content soon after the spread of rumors online in India prompted a number of violent incidences back in 2018.

The app saw its highest gain in usage among other social media networks since the outbreak of COVID-19 resulted in lockdown wherein people have been requested to stay at home to prevent the spread of the virus.

Source credit: https://www.cnbc.com/2020/04/07/whatsapp-limits-message-forwards-to-combat-coronavirus-misinformation.html

 

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Mateen Dalal     twitter

Mateen Dalal

A qualified electronics and telecommunication engineer, Mateen Dalal embarked on his professional journey working as a quality and test engineer. Harnessing his passion for content creation however, Mateen pens down industry-rich articles for ReportsGO.com and a few o...

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