The WhatsApp messenger restricted users to forwarding messages up to once due to the distribution of coronavirus fakes. This was reported by the press service of the company on April 7.
The statement says that in 2019 the company introduced users to the concept of frequently sent messages – they are marked with a double arrow symbol. Against the background of the spread of fakes about coronavirus, it was decided to limit the forwarding of such messages – now they can be sent only in one chat at a time.
The company also noted that WhatsApp is “used to organize actions in support of healthcare professionals fighting the spread of the virus,” which leads to an increase in the number of messages sent. Many clients are concerned about this fact, because it can contribute to the spread of misinformation. The company stressed that WhatsApp should continue to be a service for personal communication, and that this requires slowing down the mass distribution of messages.
As the NSN reminds, earlier users could send the same message to 256 people from the contact list. However, in 2018, the administration of the resource began experiments with restriction on the background of a scandal in India, when the application was accused of inciting riots because of the mass sending of users of fake information. From 2019, one message could be sent to five contacts.
Messenger worked with various NGOs and government authorities, including WHO and national health ministries, to provide users with accurate information. Thus, in March, WhatsApp launched a special chat-bot, which provides relevant and reliable information on how to stop the spread of coronavirus, as well as travel advice, debunks rumors about the infection.