Jack Quann
Jack Quann

10.46 7 Apr 2020


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The messaging service WhatsApp says it is limiting the number of times a message can be forwarded on the platform.

The app already lets users know if a message has been forwarded many times, using double arrows to indicate it did not originate from a close contact.

It is now limiting people’s ability to share messages that are seen as 'highly forwarded' from five to just one chat at a time.

This applies to both individual and group chats.

It says it hopes the change will reduce the spread of viral messages.

Symbolic photo: whatsApp, Messeger, social networks, silhouettes of people on smartphone in front of logos, logo. | usage worldwide

The Facebook-owned company explains: "Is all forwarding bad? Certainly not.

"We know many users forward helpful information, as well as funny videos, memes, and reflections or prayers they find meaningful.

"In recent weeks, people have also used WhatsApp to organise public moments of support for frontline health workers.

"However, 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.

"We believe it’s important to slow the spread of these messages down to keep WhatsApp a place for personal conversation."

WhatsApp is working directly with groups and governments, including the World Health Organisation (WHO) and over 20 national health ministries.

It has also established a Coronavirus Information Hub to help spread accurate information about the virus.

"We believe that now more than ever people need to be able to connect privately.

"Our teams are hard at work to keep WhatsApp running reliably during this unprecedented global crisis.

"We’ll continue to listen to your feedback and improve ways for people to share with each other on WhatsApp," the company adds.


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