MANILA, Philippines – To curb the potential spread of coronavirus-related misinformation, WhatsApp announced on Tuesday, April 7, it was instituting one more limitation to forwarding viral messages. WhatsApp will now only allow the forwarding of a viral message to a single chat at a time.
This is a downgrade from a 2019 limitation that would allow users to share a forwarded viral message to up to 5 chats at one time, and adds to an earlier feature which labels forwarded messages to indicate they were not originally from the person sending it.
The Facebook-owned chat app company acknowledged that its users did have legitimate uses, such as sharing helpful information on various topics, as well as other sorts of fun or meaningful content.
"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," WhatsApp said.
It added, "We believe it’s important to slow the spread of these messages down to keep WhatsApp a place for personal conversation."
WhatsApp also said it was working with a number of organizations and governments to promote and share accurate information and report falsehoods to fact-checking groups. This is in addition to the company's own Coronavirus Information Hub. – Rappler.com