WhatsApp announced on a blog post that it’s putting new restrictions on forwarding messages, in order to stem the flow of misinformation over the messaging app. It already flags messages that have been forwarded multiple times with double arrows. Once flagged as such, these messages can be forwarded only to one chat at a time, down from five previously.
“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 organize public moments of support for frontline health workers,” the company, which is part of Facebook, said in a blog post. “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.”
Last year WhatsApp 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 close contact. In effect, these messages are less personal compared to typical messages sent on WhatsApp.