WhatsApp told TechCrunch, “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.”
In the age of the coronavirus pandemic there has been a sharp rise in the spread of misinformation from unreliable sources that users often forward believing to be true. With the restriction of only being able to forward such messages one at a time, people simply have stopped bulk-spamming one another at an alarming rate.
It shows how the mechanics of modern communications apps can encourage sharing misinformation as much as the nature of the content itself.
Facebook-owned WhatsApp is having to react, along with its parent company, to the changing world we are living in in 2020. WhatsApp raised the video call limit on its service from four to eight people this week as it has seen a sharp rise in use as people stay in touch during a global lockdown.