WhatsApp has recorded a 70 per cent drop in viral forwarded messages after the social media giant limited the number of times people can send messages.
Last year, WhatsApp introduced a concept to cap the relevance of forwarded messages on the app. Forwarded messages were labeled with a double arrow to indicate they did not originate from close contact. To curb the spread of fake news,, which was rampant. Forwarded messages reduced by 25 per cent.
Several organizations, including CNN and other news organizations, have reported that the platform was being used to share inaccurate information about Coronavirus cure. New Delhi also asked WhatsApp and other messaging and social media firms last month to do more to control the viral hoaxes circulating on their platforms about coronavirus infection.
Early this month, WhatsApp further limited forwarding messages to one chat at a time. In the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic, such news would cause alarm to the affected. Thus, WhatsApp has been working with governments and NGOs to connect people to accurate information.
“Is all forwarding bad? Certainly not. 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.”
“We believe that now more than ever, people need to be able to connect privately. Our teams are hard at work to keep WhatsApp running reliably during this unprecedented global crisis. We’ll continue to listen to your feedback and improve ways for people to share information.”
WhatsApp and its parent firm, Facebook, have taken several efforts in recent months to help governments in many countries, including India, which have been equally helpful to the users across the globe.