Fake messages are a problem everywhere, even in WhatsApp . It has not yet taken the forms of fake news on Facebook, but in India, for example, there are already dead deaths after massive forwarded fake messages led to angry mobs. In the fake messages people are wrongly classified as child traffickers, resulting in a public execution.
Now the massive forwarding of such messages specifically in India is a big issue. That is why WhatsApp now also starts a test update that ensures that people can only send a message to five contacts at the same time. A shortcut to forward media is also removed.
App has lost intimacy
In a blog WhatsApp explains that the chat app is intended as a simple and reliable way to communicate with friends and family, but that the massive forwarding actions against the enter intimacy that the creators try to ensure for WhatsApp. It should be an app for private messages, according to the creators, and these changes should ensure this.
The ability to send a message to multiple contacts at the same time is not only adapted in India; in other countries, too, a limit is set on the forwarding of messages. Curiously, they do not say how limited it is, but according to reports the number is now 20 people, whereas it was 250 people worldwide. A big difference. Earlier, a change was already made that marked forwarded messages so it was clear that it was not written by the channel itself.
Remove content that leads to violence
It all fits in the strategy of parent company Facebook to ensure that content that leads to violence is stopped . With this adjustment, they ensure that messages can not – very quickly – get very far. You can not stop a message from going viral if the content lends itself to it, but it does cause a delay that gives a little more time to respond and remove potentially fraudulent content. The update will be rolled out worldwide from now on.