Subscribe for premier reporting on free speech, privacy, Big Tech, media gatekeepers, and individual liberty online.

WhatsApp to cut message forwarding to prevent coronavirus “misinformation”

If you’re tired of censorship and surveillance, subscribe to Reclaim The Net.

Many countries commonly use WhatsApp for everyday communication. The messaging app, owned by Facebook, often becomes the center of misinformation accusations as a countless number of people send chain messages and forward advice and information on the platform.

WhatsApp has long identified the potential for misinformation, and as a result, started marking forward messages with a “forward” tag on top. While the measure was in place before coronavirus became a thing, WhatsApp has now put more stringent operations in place.

WhatsApp has introduced a new feature that limits the number of forwards to one chat only; this feature kicks into action once a user forwards a message to more than five chats.

The feature acts as a measure to discourage people from forwarding messages over and again.

The end-to-end encryption on WhatsApp prevents it from reading the actual content of the messages; but the metadata, however, allows WhatsApp to trace the number of times a message is being forwarded.

Based on this data, the messaging platform will enforce the update regarding message forwards.

“Last year we introduced users to the concept of messages that have been forwarded many times. These messages are labeled with double arrows to indicate they did not originate from a close contact. In effect, these messages are less personal compared to typical messages sent on WhatsApp. We are now introducing a limit so that these messages can only be forwarded to one chat at a time,” wrote WhatsApp, in a blog post.

If you’re tired of censorship and surveillance, subscribe to Reclaim The Net.

Read more

Join the pushback against online censorship, cancel culture, and surveillance.

Already a member? Login.