WhatsApp Says Its Forwarding Limits Have Cut The Spread Of Viral Messages By 70 Percent
The social media giant Facebook -owned service said on Monday that spread of “highly forwarded” messages sent on WhatsApp had dropped by 70% globally in weeks after introducing a new restriction earlier this month, TechCrunch reports.
The new measures were introduced at the beginning of April in response to the spread of coronavirus-related misinformation on the service. The changes meant that any message that’s already been forwarded by five or more people can now only be forwarded to a single person or group.
WhatsApp has faced intense scrutiny about the role of its service in spreading misinformation during the pandemic. WhatsApp groups can contain as many as 256 participants, meaning messages can spread quickly between a large number of users.
“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,” the company said when it announced the new measures. “We believe it’s important to slow the spread of these messages down to keep WhatsApp a place for personal conversation.”
WhatsApp and its parent firm, Facebook, have taken several efforts in recent months to help governments in many countries, including India, reach their citizens and share authoritative information about the coronavirus pandemic.