WhatsApp is putting a worldwide limit of five on the number of times a message may be forwarded in an effort to stomp out misinformation and the spreading of rumours. “Starting today, all users on the latest versions of WhatsApp can now forward to only five chats at once, which will help keep WhatsApp focused on private messaging with close contacts,” the company said in an update to a blog post, confirming a Reuters report.
new daily record: 20B messages sent (inbound) and 44B messages received (outbound) by our users = 64B messages handled in just 24 hours.
— WhatsApp Inc. (@WhatsApp) April 2, 2014
“While this is of course a welcome response to fake news by WhatsApp, stopping the spread of fake news which is already in circulation can only do so much, particularly across just one platform. In order to combat fake news at the source, governments need to deploy threat intelligence programmes, which can trace the articles back to specific domains and registrars in order to blacklist them. Fake news harms political discourse and is often disseminated by hostile nation-states for this purpose, and stopping it should be a top priority for media organisations, governments and social media platforms.”
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