To slow down and possibly prevent the spread of misinformation about the coronavirus, WhatsApp is going to introduce stricter restriction on message forwarding.
According to the new limit that starts today, any message that has already been forwarded more than 5 times can now only be forwarded to one person or group in a single go.
This change doesn’t stop people from forwarding messages one by one, but it does help in slowing down the spread that were to happen in multiple-forwards at a time.
In its blog post, WhatsApp said, “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 to keep WhatsApp a place for personal conversation.”
Hoaxes, misinformation and rumors about the current pandemic have been enormous on online platforms, especially apps like WhatsApp that’s used by more than 2 billion users around the globe. According to a CNN report, WhatsApp was the hotspot for spread of misinformation about the coronavirus.
Leo Varadkar, the PM of Ireland also urged his people last month that, “Please stop sharing unverified info” on WhatsApp groups. These messages are scaring and confusing people and causing real damage.”