For the past few years, WhatsApp has been trying hard to curb the process of fake news going viral on the platform. Initially, in this fight against misinformation, it started labeling forwarded messages as ‘forwarded’ and then limited the users to forwarding a message only five times.
In a recent development, the users will now be able to see how many times a message has been forwarded. Also, if the message is forwarded more than five times, a new forward icon on the message will clearly showcase the information.
Before the update, the info tab only displayed two types of information: “Seen” and “Delivered”, but now a third form of information i.e. “forwarded X times” has been added as well. This update is being rolled out in the latest updated version 2.19.230.
A recent event with mob-lynching in India is what forced WhatsApp to urgently address the issue.
Due to the fake news regarding child trafficking circulating on WhatsApp in India, a village mob killed two men wielding bamboo sticks, machetes, and rocks. In the wake of this situation, WhatsApp horrified by the violence, promised an action.
After this update, only the last person who forwards the message is able to see the information in the info tab as long as the number of times the message is forwarded is less than four.
Currently, WhatsApp has no other way to monitor the origin and spread of videos, images, and text among its 1.5 billion user base.