WhatsApp’s fight with fake news and the virality of messages seems to have paid off. The messaging platform said on Monday that the spread of “highly forwarded” messages on WhatsApp had dropped by 70 per cent globally in the weeks following an additional limit restriction that was added to the platform.
WhatsApp said that earlier this month, users on its platform would only be able to forward messages to one person or group at a time instead of the five that were previously allowed. According to TechCrunch, this restriction was rolled out to WhatsApp’s two billion users on April 7.
“We recently introduced a limit to sharing ‘highly forwarded messages’ to just one chat. Since putting into place this new limit, globally there has been a 70% reduction in the number of highly forwarded messages sent on WhatsApp,” a WhatsApp spokesperson told TechCrunch in a statement.
“This change is helping keep WhatsApp a place for personal and private conversations. WhatsApp is committed to doing our part to tackle viral messages,” the spokesperson said today.
The Indian government had earlier asked WhatsApp and other messaging platforms to do more in their bid to fight viral messages due to the rapid spread of fake news. These measures are especially necessary in these trying times to battle the spread of fake news associated with the novel coronavirus pandemic.