The second social media giant, WhatsApp has today announced in a blog post it has indefinitely restricted message forwarding content to slow the spread of Coronavirus Misinformation.
The global disease, which has taken away the lives of over 70,000 people worldwide, has been accompanied by what the World Health Organization (WHO) has dubbed an “infodemic” of misinformation, prompting governments and other authorities to urge social media companies to do more to curb the problem.
WhatsApp, which has more than 2 billion users worldwide, said in a blog post it made the change after noticing a “significant increase” in the number of forwards since the start of the coronavirus crisis.
“We believe it’s important to slow the spread of these messages down to keep WhatsApp a place for personal conversation,” the statement said.
Since last year, users have been able to forward a message to only five individuals or groups at once, down from an earlier limit of 20. The app also labeled any messages that had been forwarded more than five times.
The app also encourages people to flag suspicious content to fact-checking organizations and has enabled the WHO and national health authorities to share reliable information about the new coronavirus on the service using automated accounts.