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WhatsApp to tackle fake news by telling you how many times messages are forwarded

Image credit: WhatsApp
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WhatsApp is testing a new feature that highlights messages as "frequently forwarded" if they have been shared five or more times.

The new beta for Android is part of WhatsApp's ongoing campaign to limit the spread of misinformation on the popular messaging app, having limited the number of times you can forward a message earlier this year.

The Facebook-owned company has been criticized in the past for creating a breeding ground for rumors and 'fake news' to spread rapidly among users, and was even associated with a spate of mob-violence and killings (opens in new tab) in India.

Slowing the spread of rumors

The new feature is currently limited to messages that you send, so you won't see a "frequently forwarded" tag on messages you receive.

Before sending a message, you'll also be able to see the exact number of times it has been forwarded previously by going to the 'Message Info' section.

WhatsApp hasn't confirmed whether the beta will be officially released, or whether it's expected to come to iOS users. If it does, it could be an effective way of slowing the spread of viral content on the platform when used in conjunction with WhatsApp's message forwarding limit. 

Via Engadget (opens in new tab)

Olivia is TechRadar's Senior Editor - Home Entertainment, covering everything from headphones to TVs. Based in TechRadar's London offices, she's a popular music graduate who worked in the music industry before finding her calling in journalism. She's previously been interviewed on BBC Radio 5 Live on the subject of multi-room audio, chaired panel discussions on diversity in music festival lineups, and her bylines include T3, Stereoboard, What to Watch, Top Ten Reviews, Creative Bloq, and Croco Magazine.  In her spare time Olivia likes gardening, painting, and hanging with her cat Ethel and golden retriever Dora.