In an effort to curb the spread of, potentially dangerous, misinformation about the COVID-19 pandemic, WhatsApp will now only let you forward popular messages to one person at a time.
Messages that have been forwarded over five times are currently labelled with a double arrow icon, indicating that they’ve been forwarded multiple times and are unlikely to have come from a close personal source. According to a recent blog post, WhatsApp will begin limiting the number of times you can share this type of message to one chat at a time.
This means your mom/aunty/estranged work colleague won’t be able to share that thing they were sent from their cousin’s best friend’s dog groomer, who knows a guy who used to work for the Microsoft, about how 5G is spreading coronavirus, quite so easily.
The intention of the limit is to help slow down the spread of misinformation, something that WhatsApp users have been struggling with.
…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. We believe it’s important to slow the spread of these messages down to keep WhatsApp a place for personal conversation.
WhatsApp is for communicating in amusing gifs, sharing pictures of your cat, and being forced into work groups that will “only be used for work-related discussions” that inevitably devolve into places for colleagues to share pictures of their cat – keep it that way.