WhatsApp has started rolling out a new feature in India to curb the spread of misinformation on its platform, that notifies people if a message has been forwarded many times. The feature does not seem to be live for all WhatsApp users, though Indianexpress.com was able to spot it.
So, if a user is trying to forward a message that has been forwarded multiple times before, WhatsApp will notify users that it will be marked as "forwarded many times". A user can continue to send the message or choose to quit. To recall, a "frequently forwarded" label was anticipated for WhatsApp, but the feature seems different since the label on messages that have been forwarded many times will continue to say "Forwarded" but will have a double arrow icon.
"We ve recently introduced an update to our forwarded message label that helps people identify when they ve received messages that were previously forwarded several times, such as a chain message. These highly forwarded messages will be marked with a double arrow icon and users will receive a notice when they are forwarding such a message," a WhatsApp spokesperson told Indianexpress.com.
The notification will only appear for messages that have been forwarded more than five times. Such messages will have a double arrow icon. "This message will be marked as forwarded many times," the notifications read. It works with text messages as well as images and videos.
However, the number of times that the message has been forwarded will remain end-to-end encrypted. Essentially, WhatsApp will label messages that have been forwarded more than five times, but will not reveal the exact number of times it has been forwarded.
WhatsApp has taken several measures to limit the spread of fake news of its platform including limiting forwards to five people, forwarded label, and more. The new "forwarded many times" feature will likely make users more mindful of whether the message has been composed by the sender or has simply been forwarded many times.