WhatsApp status update: Under immense pressure from several quarters to control the spread of false news and rumours of horrifying incidents, Whatsapp on Friday announced a new measure to curb it. In a statement, Whatsapp said that it is launching a test to limit forwarding messages to five chats at once. Whatsapp is also expected to remove the quick forward button next to media messages. “We believe that these changes, which we’ll continue to evaluate, will help keep WhatsApp the way it was designed to be: a private messaging app,” Facebook inc Whatsapp said in a statement.
Let us see the top five changes that Whatsapp made to stop rumours and fake news:-
1. More changes to forwarding messages in chats: Whatsapp on Friday said it has decided to launch a test to limit forwarding messages in chats. The move will be applied to everyone using Whatsapp. The company is about to test a lower limit of maximum five chats at once. It will also remove the quick forward button next to media messages.
2. Labelling Forwarded Messages: On July 10, 2018, the messaging app had announced the launch of a new feature where a user will get an indication about the messages they receive were forwarded to them. This was to determine if anyone’s friend, relatives etc wrote it or just forwarded it from others.
3. New Group Setting for Admins: To improve the group’s experience, the Facebook-owned messaging app introduced a new setting on June 29, 2018, for the admins. In a statement, Whatsapp said, “We are launching a new group setting where only admins are able to send messages to a group.” It further added, “One way people use groups is to receive important announcements and information, including parents and teachers at schools, community centres, and non-profit organizations. We’ve introduced this new setting so admins can have better tools for these use cases.”
4. New Features for Groups: ‘Groups’ in Whatsapp is an important part where one can have a conversation with more than one family members at a time or with friends at a time etc. On May 15, 2018, the messaging app divided group messages into four categories- Group description, Admin controls, Group catch up and Participant search. In a statement, Whatsapp said, “We’ve also introduced protection so users can’t be repeatedly added to groups they’ve left.”
In the last two months, more than 20 people were killed in different parts across the country by mobs after being accused of child kidnapping, child trafficking, cattle smuggling and other crimes in viral messages shared on WhatsApp. Earlier, the government had warned the messaging app of treating it as “abettors” of crime if it chooses to remain “mute spectators”.