WhatsApp’s Strategy of Curbing Spread of Misinformation: Is it Working?  

WhatsApp has been actively working against the spread of misinformation and is updating its app to reduce the forward limit

By April 27th, 2020 AT 8:04 PM
Highlights
  • WhatsApp is working with IFCN to help users verify the information spread
  • The social media giant is taking down 2 million accounts with suspicious behaviour every month
  • The new forward limit is set to 1 person

WhatsApp is one of the most used social media apps all over the world. With WhatsApp, you can connect with people from any part of the globe. Out of all the upsides the application has, it also has downsides. One of those is the spread of misinformation. The social media giant has been working on preventing false information to be spread widely. This is why it introduced a cap on the sharing limit of a message. A few years back, WhatsApp changed the forwarding limit to 5 people at a time. But now that limit is set to be 1 person at a time. This update to the app has been rolled out during the time of global pandemic so that people don’t share false information and create panic.

The New Forwarding Limit Is Working

A spokesperson from WhatsApp said that the new restriction on forwarding messages is working effectively. Since the time this new limit has been set, WhatsApp forwards has dipped by 70% globally. This will surely help in limiting the spread of misinformation as well. The limit of 1 person forward would apply when the information has previously been forwarded for at least five times.

Is Putting a Limit Enough to Stop the Spread of Misinformation

Of course, it is not enough. But it still reduces the number of people the message potentially gets across to. One of the other things WhatsApp is doing is working with International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN) so that users can double-check the information/message which they have received with one of the organisations of IFCN. This will also mean that the messages that you are going to receive in the future will be more authentic than they used to be. Still, it would be good that you re-check the messages and verify them before you forward it to anyone else. With this, WhatsApp has also revealed that they are taking down around 2 million WhatsApp accounts every month globally, which are behaving suspiciously.

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Tanay is someone with whom you can chill and talk about technology and life. A fitness enthusiast and cricketer, he loves to read and write.

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