WhatsApp limits message forwarding to prevent disinformation

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WhastApp continues to join efforts to fight disinformation during the coronavirus pandemic.

Angela Lang / CNET

For the latest news and information on the coronavirus pandemic, visit the WHO website.

WhatsApp increases its measures to control the spread of erroneous information during the crisis of the coronavirus.

The popular messaging service said on April 7 on its website that, from now on, if you receive a message that has been forwarded more than five times, you will only be able to forward it to a single chat at a time and not in bulk. This measure applies to “highly forwarded messages” detected by the application and identified by an icon with two little arrows.

“We have seen a significant increase in the number of forwardings that users consider can be overwhelming and can contribute to spreading disinformation,” WhatsApp says in its post. “We believe that now more than ever people need to be able to communicate privately. Our teams are working hard to keep WhatsApp working reliably during this unprecedented global crisis.”

This measure is in addition to another one recently adopted by the platform to deal with disinformation about the global crisis stemming from COVID-19. The company launched a new service for WhatsApp users in Italy, which allows them verify the authenticity of any content related to the coronavirus just by sending a message to the Italian data verification service, Facta. In addition, the messaging service also has an official bot from the World Health Organization (WHO) with which you can stay up to date with everything that happens about the pandemic.

The coronavirus was first detected in China in December and has spread rapidly worldwide. As of April 6, there are already more than 1.3 million coronavirus cases worldwide, of which more than 368,000 correspond to the United States.


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