To reduce the spread of chain messages and potentially harmful misinformation, WhatsApp has introduced a further limit to forwarded messages.
The latest move by WhatsApp means that users will now only be able to forward messages that are deemed “highly forwarded” to just one chat (person or group) at a time.
Messages that have been forwarded fewer than five times are indicated with a single arrow, whereas “highly forwarded” messages are indicated with double arrows indicating that the message was forwarded among users more than five times and did not originate from a close contact.
Previously, “highly forwarded” messages could be forwarded up to five chats at once. The limitation has helped constrain misinformation going viral, resulting in a 25% decrease in messages forwarded globally last year.
The Facebook company (WhatsApp’s parent company) is committed to keep users across its family of apps informed and safe during the COVID-19 outbreak by providing access to accurate information and reducing misinformation and harmful content.
To keep users up;dated with the right information, the WhatsApp Coronavirus Information Hub was launched on 18 March to provide users with access to official information and resources from trusted health authorities.
The tool also links users with simple, actionable guidance to communicate, ranging from health workers, educators, community leaders, non-profits, local governments to local businesses.
WhatsApp has donated US$1m to support fact-checking for the #CoronaVirusFacts Alliance, which spans more than 100 local organisations in at least 45 countries.
The grant will support training to use the advanced features within WhatsAppBusiness, including the WhatsApp Business API, to ensure local communities are wary and responsible when dealing with potential harmful information.