WhatsApp putting a lid of maximum recipient a WhatsApp user can select to forward a message to 5, WhatsApp is taking another step towards bulletproofing the app against the epidemic of fake news especially in India where it is one of the largest sources of fake news distribution. According to WABetaInfo, Facebook-owned WhatsApp is testing out a feature in its beta update that would help ascertain the number of times a message has been forwarded.
Although we heard about this feature a few days ago, it is rather interesting that WhatsApp is actually testing out the feature which also dictates its seriousness towards rolling out this feature to all iOS and Android users. To elaborate what it does, when a user forwards a message, WhatsApp tags this message as ‘Forwarded’ that was from an earlier update. However, this time, WhatsApp is checking out a feature that will inform recipients about the number of times the said message has been forwarded.
To shed light on this feature, the users can select the message, go to Message Info where you would see the sender, date, etc. Plus, there is a new dialog box that appears showing the number of times this message has been forwarded.
There are plenty of reasons why WhatsApp is rolling out such features. In India, WhatsApp was earlier linked for allowing fake news to share across the platform resulting in various lynching incidences and more. The app is regularly used by politicians and their IT cells to spread fake news which is why WhatsApp has been spreading awareness against such news via newspaper and TV advertisements. It has also hired dedicated staff to keep a tab on fake news spreading across the platform.
WhatsApp was acquired by Facebook in 2014 in one of the biggest deal for an instant messaging app valued at $16 billion back in 2014 which rose to $21 billion when the deal was closed by the first quarter of 2015. WhatsApp currently has more than a billion users and it has molded its way in every household in India and elsewhere that makes it a perfect partner for distribution of fake news which is something WhatsApp is trying to tackle for months now.