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WhatsApp is recently taking serious steps to curb the spread of fake messages in the form of text, images and videos. Earlier, the messaging platform started rolling out the forwarded label on its messages to make sure the recipient knows that it was a forwarded one. With the increasing number of lynching incidents, WhatsApp is under great pressure from the Indian government to handle the menace of fake news on its platform.
To address this issue, the company has made a move, which will limit the spread of forwarded messages. In a blog post, WhatsApp has announced that it is launching a test to limit the message forwarding on its platform in India. Notably, Indian users share maximum messages and videos than users in the other countries.
According to the company's statement, this is possible by limiting users to send forwards only to five chats. The quick forward button seen along with the media messages will also be removed. While these are the changes meant to be rolled out in India, the global version of the app will limit the forwards to 20 groups or chats.
WhatsApp's spokesman Carl Woog wrote, "We believe that these changes - which we'll continue to evaluate - will help keep WhatsApp the way it was designed to be: a private messaging app. We built WhatsApp as a private messaging app - a simple, secure and reliable way to communicate with friends and family. And as we've added new features, we've been careful to try and keep that feeling of intimacy which people say they love."
WhatsApp tips to combat fake news
Earlier this month, WhatsApp launched an ad campaign in newspapers with full-page ads outlining the tips to let users find out when a message isn't genuine. In the ad, WhatsApp lists ten points for users to combat the spread of fake news.
Going by the same, it requests users to understand when a message is forwarded, question information that is upsetting, check if the information appears to be unbelievable, look out for messages, check photos carefully, check links, use other sources, be thoughtful before sharing, and more.