WhatsApp limits message-forwarding worldwide after influx of fake news amid Covid-19 pandemic

The Facebook-owned company has decided to change the rules on how its users can forward messages that “did not originate from a close contact” and are, in effect, “less personal” compared to typical messages sent via WhatsApp.

“We are now introducing a limit so that these messages can only be forwarded to one chat at a time,” WhatsApp announced on Tuesday.

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.

Misleading text and voice messages, which have been circulating on WhatsApp, promoted fake cures and conspiracy theories about the coronavirus. One such message targeting South Africa has claimed that there is a link between the Covid-19 mortality rate and several popular drugs used to treat fever.

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In another instance, a woman has been arrested in India for claiming on WhatsApp that the government is hiding the true number of Covid-19 cases. Similar messages on false figures were circulating on many of WhatsApp groups worldwide.

In February, the World Health Organization (WHO) has warned that the rapid spread of the disease is coupled with a massive “infodemic,” an influx of information, some of which is inaccurate and makes it harder to find reliable guidance on how to deal with the virus.

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Source Article from https://www.rt.com/news/485178-whatsapp-covid19-new-rules/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

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