WhatsApp Limits Frequently Shared Messages, New Search Option Soon

Frequently forwarded messages can only be forwarded to one chat at a time. A verification feature for such messages has also been announced.

In an effort to curb the spread of fake news around COVID-19, WhatsApp has now set a limit to sharing frequently forwarded messages to one chat at a time. This limit is applicable to messages that have been forwarded five times or more, WhatsApp said in a statement.

Following a surge in misinformation on WhatsApp, the company had introduced several features in the past to limit the spread of fake news. Previously, the limit to forwarding messages were set to five chats at a time. Forwarded messages were also marked with a "Forwarded" tag to notify recipients that the sender did not originally compose the message.

Also Reads: WhatsApp Group Admins To Be Detained For Coronavirus Fake News?

WhatsApp also announced a new "double-check" feature, which will allow users to do web searches on frequently forwarded messages in order to check for its authenticity. This feature is currently being beta-tested, and is set to reach users soon.

"That idea involves displaying a magnifying glass icon next to these frequently forwarded messages, giving users the option to send that message to a web search where they can find news results or other sources of information. Double-checking these messages before forwarding may help reduce the spread of rumors. This feature is currently in testing and we'll keep you updated on next steps," WhatsApp stated.

Also Reads: Disaster Management Act Does Not Restrict News Reports On COVID-19

With a spike in misinformation in the wake of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, instant messaging apps like WhatsApp have been under severe scrutiny. This has led the Facebook-owned company to introduce a WhatsApp Coronavirus Information Hub in partnership with the World Health Organisation, to enable users to connect to local, national and global organisations involved in fighting the pandemic, to stay updated with reliable information.

Updated On: 2020-04-07T15:44:39+05:30
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