After the series of violent incidents in India triggered by false social media messages, WhatsApp is working hard to tackle the spread of fake news. Facebook’s WhatsApp is now launching a test to limit forwarding messages. WhatsApp will limit message forwarding to 5 chats and also will remove the quick forward button next to media messages. While launching a test to limit message forwarding, the company said in their blog –
“In India – where people forward more messages, photos, and videos than any other country in the world. – We will also test a lower limit of five chats at once and we’ll remove the quick forward button next to media messages.”
The ministry of electronics and IT said in their statement that they had noticed instances of the lynching of innocent people because of a large number of irresponsible and explosive messages filled with rumors and provocation being circulated on WhatsApp.
Moreover, the Indian Government sent a second letter to WhatsApp asking for more effective solutions. Therefore, WhatsApp has also launched the feature of forward label to help users identify whether the text is originally composed or forwarded from other users.
WhatsApp also stated in their blog post –
“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. 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.”
WhatsApp also published advertisements in Indian newspapers to tackle the spread of fake news. They have also planned long-term public safety advertising campaigns. Very soon WhatsApp will also bring fake news verification model and will work on to stop spreading the fake news.