WhatsApp has rolled out a new update for iOS devices. The latest update adds restrictions on message forwarding. It is an important measure to stop the spread of fake news. The development was announced by WhatsApp back in July 2018 following reports of fake news causing communal tension in the certain part of India.
WhatsApp announced that it will be limiting forwarding of messages to five people. You will notice these changes when you update the WhatsApp iOS app to version 2.18.81. Moreover, the quick forward button next to media messages has been removed.
To solve the issue of fake news, WhatsApp rolled out the “Suspicious Link Indicator” feature. This feature locally detects suspicious links and notifies the recipient before they are opened. Another disclaimer pops up even after the user clicks on such links. WhatsApp also added a “Forwarded” label to messages.
Under Government pressure, WhatsApp has been taking these measures to tackle the fake news problem. Moreover, WhatsApp also revealed that it is building a team for India, and it will also appoint India head. This team will focus on tackling the issue through different measures including education and advocacy efforts.
The latest update of message forwarding restrictions will be seen by everyone using WhatsApp on their phones. It is also worth noting that these limitations might be further refined if WhatsApp believes they need to, but for the time being, you’ll only be able to forward messages and media to no more than 5 chats.
In blog post WhatsApp stated –
“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 are deeply committed to your safety and privacy which is why WhatsApp is end-to-end encrypted, and we’ll continue to improve our app with features like this one.”