With social media platforms trying to fight misinformation especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, Facebook-owned messaging platform, WhatsApp took the effort to limit forwarding messages in bulk. They recently announced that messages identified as highly forwarded(more than 5 chats)can only be forwarded to a single person.
This move is meant to reduce the speed at which messages spread via the chat app. Messages that have been forwarded many times are labelled with double arrows.
This new restriction is now live, on both the stable (v2.20.108) and beta (v2.20.122) channels.
However, it’s a soft limit as users can simply copy and paste the message repeatedly but the amount of friction is meaningful as it raises the price of using the platform to spread misinformation, at least in terms of time.
Misinformation will still be shared but now slowly which will give fact-checkers more time to chase down the truth and promote it.