Covid-19: WhatsApp puts limits on forwarding messages

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Starting today, messages that have been identified as “highly forwarded” – sent through a chain of five or more people – can only be forwarded to a single person.

With heightened scrutiny on the potential of private message apps to spread misinformation related to the coronavirus pandemic, WhatsApp on Tuesday said it would place new limits on the forwarding of messages.

Starting today, messages that have been identified as “highly forwarded” – sent through a chain of five or more people – can only be forwarded to a single person.

The move is designed to reduce the speed with which information moves through WhatsApp, putting truth and fiction on a more even footing.

“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,” the company, which is part of Facebook, said in a blog post.

“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 personal conversation.”

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