WhatsApp Limits Forwarded Texts To Slow Coronavirus Misinformation

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WhatsApp is attempting to cease coronavirus misinformation that spreads by way of forwarded texts

Because the coronavirus pandemic rages on, there’s plenty of misinformation on the market concerning the virus and its effects on people and communities. We’ve all seen the texts which have been circulating: “My neighbor’s boyfriend’s uncle’s canine walker works for town and says the subways will likely be shut down on Tuesday,” or “My greatest good friend’s mother’s hairstylist’s grandma’s outdated center faculty trainer is a army basic and says martial regulation will likely be declared on Friday.” Sure, these texts are a bit bit ridiculous, however there are many individuals who imagine them — principally as a result of they get forwarded alongside by trusted contacts — and now, WhatsApp is doing what it could possibly to assist curb this sort of misinformation from spreading.

The free messaging app, which is owned by Fb, is placing new restrictions on what it calls “incessantly forwarded” messages, attempting to cease folks from having the ability to mass ahead these chain messages that comprise misinformation concerning the pandemic. “Steadily forwarded” messages are outlined by WhatsApp as messages which have been forwarded 5 occasions or extra.

As of Tuesday, should you obtain a forwarded message on WhatsApp, you possibly can solely ahead that message alongside to 1 chat at a time, which means no extra conveniently spamming all of your contacts with a forwarded chain message. Steadily forwarded messages will now even be marked with a double-arrow icon, to assist folks see messages that aren’t authentic.

That is so necessary, as a result of when our well being and lives depend upon having correct details about find out how to keep secure and wholesome, something that helps decelerate harmful misinformation can solely assist. There are some wild conspiracy theories on the market concerning the coronavirus, from individuals who assume it’s a authorities inhabitants management device, to people who assume 5G cellular phone towers are spreading the illness.

This isn’t the primary time WhatsApp has used its platform to assist cease misinformation from spreading. Customers of the app used to have the ability to ahead messages to as much as 20 folks or teams at a time, however in 2018, that was lowered to 5 after numerous mob killings in India have been linked to false info that was forwarded and shared on WhatsApp. However the very best factor we will do is to not get our information from locations like WhatsApp. The American Press Institute can help you decide whether a news source is credible and trustworthy.

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