In the past, we have seen that Facebook and WhatsApp are the biggest sources of misinformation. Now in Facebook moderator can delete the misinformation but it is harder in the case of WhatsApp. At this time when most of the people are under lockdown due to COVID-19 pandemic, misinformation through WhatsApp is making people more furious. Now to combat this misinformation flow, Facebook-owned WhatsApp has decided that users can send a frequently forwarded message to one user at a time only.
In past users can forward messages to 256 people at once. And then these messages were also not labeled as “Forwarded”. In 2018 WhatsApp added the “Forwarded” label on the forwarded messages and last WhatsApp started limiting the number of people you can send messages to five.
In a blog post, Facebook-owned WhatsApp said “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 a personal conversation.”
According to WhatsApp when they limit the forward messages last year, the number of forwarded messages decreased by 25 percent. It’s not like that people can’t forward messages to more than 1 people but they have to do one person at a time. So WhatsApp is hoping that this could slow down the misinformation spread.