WhatsApp on Tuesday announced that it would place new limits on the forwarding of messages to help curb misinformation during the outbreak of Covid-19.
Starting today, messages that have been identified as “highly forwarded” — sent through a chain of five or more people — can only be forwarded to a single person.
WhatsApp also said that the affected messages are the ones labeled with double arrows.
A message with double arrows indicate that they did not originate from a close contact, and these are the ones affected.
According to WhatsApp, the move is designed to reduce the speed with which information moves through WhatsApp, putting truth and fiction on a more even footing.
The move isn’t new as WhatsApp had already set limits on forwarded messages to constrain virality last year.
This led to a 25% decrease in message forwards globally at the time.
WhatsApp also said that they “are working directly with NGOs and governments, including the World Health Organization and over 20 national health ministries, to help connect people with accurate information.”