With the ever-increasing potential of private messaging apps to become tools of falsely spreading misinformation related to the Coronavirus, and other matters, WhatsApp has announced that it will be placing new limits on the forwarding of messages.
People are talking to doctors, teachers, and isolated loved ones via WhatsApp during this crisis. That’s why all messages and calls on WhatsApp are end-to-end encrypted by default to give you, as the main user, a secure place for your most personal conversations.
Last year WhatsApp introduced users to the concept of messages that have been forwarded many times. These messages are labeled with double arrows to indicate they did not originate from a close contact. In effect, these messages are less personal compared to typical messages sent on WhatsApp.
WhatsApp is now introducing a limit so that these messages can only be forwarded to one chat at a time.
“As a private messaging service, we’ve taken several steps over the years to help keep conversations intimate. For example, we previously set limits on forwarded messages to constrain virality, which led to a 25% decrease in message forwards globally at the time,” WhatsApp said in a statement.
Furthermore, WhatsApp said that in addition to this change, they are working directly with NGOs and governments, including the World Health Organization and over 20 national health ministries, to help connect people with accurate information.
“Together these trusted authorities have sent hundreds of millions of messages directly to people requesting information and advice. You can learn more about these efforts, as well as how to submit potential myths, hoaxes and rumors to fact checking organizations, on our Coronavirus Information Hub.”