WhatsApp Limits Forwarded Messages To Curb COVID-19 Fake News

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WhatsApp Limits Forwarded Messages To Curb COVID-19 Fake News



Amidst coronavirus pandemic, the operators of the instant messaging application, WhatsApp, have announced the decision to limit the number of forwarded messages as part of measures to curb the spread of fake news.

The development was revealed on its blog on Tuesday, after CNN and other news organizations found that the app had been used to share a variety of false information about “cures” for COVID-19.

The satement on the blog:

“With billions of people unable to see their friends and family in person due to COVID-19, people are relying on WhatsApp more than ever to communicate."

“People are talking to doctors, teachers, and isolated loved ones via WhatsApp during this crisis. That’s why all your messages and calls on WhatsApp are end-to-end encrypted by default to give you a secure place for your most personal conversations."

“We are 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."

“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.”

“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."


WhatsApp further revealed it's commitment to working directly with NGOs and governments, including the World Health Organization and over 20 national health ministries, to help connect people with accurate information.

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