- WhatsApp said it’s announcing a new cap to curb the spread of fake news so that regularly sent messages can only be forwarded to one chat at a time
WhatsApp said on Tuesday that it’s announcing a new cap to curb the spread of misinformation and fake news so that regularly sent messages can only be forwarded to one chat at a time. WhatsApp said this cap kicks in 5 times or more if a message has been forwarded previously.
WhatsApp also said it will be beta testing a tool to allow users to find out more about forwarded messages.
The concept includes placing a magnifying glass icon next to these often forwarded messages, giving users the option of submitting the message to a web search where they can find news results or other information sources.
“Double-checking these messages before forwarding will help to minimize gossip spread. This function is currently being tested and we will keep you updated on the next steps,” said WhatsApp.
WhatsApp had declared restrictions on forwarded messages to curb virality in January 2019. It also implemented new privacy settings and an invitation framework to help users determine which community should add them.
WhatsApp bans two million accounts per month for attempting to send bulk or automated messages.
The firm also announced last month in partnership with the World Health Organization, UNICEF and UNDP the WhatsApp Coronavirus Information Hub.
The messaging app said the WhatsApp Coronavirus Information Hub was launched to provide easy, actionable guidance to connect with health professionals, educators, community members, non-profits, local governments, and local businesses.
Google also recently promised $6.5 million to fund campaigns by fact-checkers and non-profits operating across the globe to smash false news and disinformation about novel coronavirus infections.
Coronavirus and COVID-19 misinformation is rife, with reports of people trying various things to cure the disease inspired by images, stories, and tweets involving food, medications, and chemicals not approved by the medical community.
In cooperation with respected hospitals, the World Health Organisation, and local and central governments, many social media sites such as Facebook Messenger, commonly used to spread disinformation, have incorporated chatbots to answer COVID-19-related queries.
Google News Initiative (GNI) is also stepping up its contribution to First Draft, a non-profit project to counter misinformation online, in order to tackle misinformation. It was founded in 2015 by Google involving organizations like Facebook, Twitter and the Foundations for the Open Society (OSF).
First Draft will include an online information center for reporters covering Covid-19 around the world, with dedicated training and crisis simulations. They’ll also be helping newsrooms to react and refute false news.