Security Experts:

Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

SecurityWeekSecurityWeek

Compliance

WhatsApp Tightens Sharing Limits to Curb Virus Misinformation

WhatsApp on Tuesday placed new limits on message forwarding as part of an effort to curb the spread of misinformation about the coronavirus pandemic.

WhatsApp on Tuesday placed new limits on message forwarding as part of an effort to curb the spread of misinformation about the coronavirus pandemic.

The new policy limits users to forwarding certain messages to one “chat” at a time, aiming to limit the rapid propagation of content which is provocative but likely to be false.

The Facebook-owned messaging platform said it took the action to enable people to concentrate on personal and private communications during the health crisis.

In recent weeks, “we’ve seen a significant increase in the amount of forwarding which users have told us can feel overwhelming and can contribute to the spread of misinformation,” WhatsApp said in a blog post.

“We believe it’s important to slow the spread of these messages down to keep WhatsApp a place for personal conversation.”

Last year, WhatsApp set limits on forwarded messages to five chats at a time, “to constrain virality,” responding to events in India where the rapid proliferation of unverified information led to mob violence.

The new policy applies to messages forwarded “many times” and marked with a double-arrow, indicating that it did not originate from a close contact, according to WhatsApp.

“In effect, these messages are less personal compared to typical messages sent on WhatsApp,” the blog said.

“We are now introducing a limit so that these messages can only be forwarded to one chat at a time.”

WhatsApp along with its parent Facebook have been scrambling to curb an explosion of rumors and hoaxes about the coronavirus and at the same time seeking to promote verified content.

Related: WhatsApp Will Take Legal Action Against Automated or Bulk Messaging

Related: WhatsApp Vulnerability Exploited to Spy on Users

Related: WhatsApp Defends Encryption as It Tops 2 Billion Users

Written By

AFP 2023

Click to comment

Daily Briefing Newsletter

Subscribe to the SecurityWeek Email Briefing to stay informed on the latest threats, trends, and technology, along with insightful columns from industry experts.

Expert Insights

Related Content

Application Security

Cycode, a startup that provides solutions for protecting software source code, emerged from stealth mode on Tuesday with $4.6 million in seed funding.

Management & Strategy

Industry professionals comment on the recent disruption of the Hive ransomware operation and its hacking by law enforcement.

Management & Strategy

SecurityWeek examines how a layoff-induced influx of experienced professionals into the job seeker market is affecting or might affect, the skills gap and recruitment...

Management & Strategy

Tens of cybersecurity companies have announced cutting staff over the past year, in some cases significant portions of their global workforce.

Funding/M&A

Twenty-one cybersecurity-related M&A deals were announced in December 2022.

CISO Conversations

In this edition of CISO Conversations, SecurityWeek speaks to two city CISOs, from the City of Tampa, and from Tallahassee.