COVID-19 – WhatsApp Forwards Restricted To One Person At A Time

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The social media platform WhatsApp decided to limit forward messages to one chat at a time.

The decision to do the same was taken to stop the circulation of fake news regarding the Novel Coronavirus or COVID-19.   

A spokesperson of WhatsApp platform said, “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.”  He further added, “We believe it’s important to slow the spread of these messages to keep WhatsApp a place for personal conversation.”

On the 7th of April, WhatsApp announced the update, restricting the forward message feature to more than one person at a time.   This new feature is an update to the existing one, where a message could be forwarded to maximum of 5 users at a time, whereas one can identify the message with a symbol of forwarded.

In the past few days, WhatsApp registered a high number of mass shared messages, especially related to the Novel Coronavirus  or COVID-19.  

However, the users could still copy paste and share the message with as many users they want.  Though sharing wrong information is possible through copy paste, with this restriction, it would still help curb inaccurate and wrong information regarding the pandemic situation COVID-19.

Meanwhile other social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter started working on the algorithms of content sharing features and are cleaning the misinformation and false content regarding the Coronavirus.

Mark Zuckerberg, the Founder of Facebook, said, “We are removing false claims and conspiracy theories that have been flagged by leading global health organisations.  We are also blocking people from running ads that try to exploit the situation for example claiming that their product can cure the disease.”

However, with WhatsApp, policing the content shared is an issue, following which the team came up with the new feature, restricting the forward messages to one person at a time.  It would help the team to identify frequently forwarded messages and restrict the same to only one person at a time.

Stay tuned for further updates about COVID-19


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