File picture: IANS
File picture: IANS

WhatsApp working with WHO and NGOs to tackle coronavirus fake news

By Staff reporter Time of article published Apr 7, 2020

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In a bid to curb the spread of misinformation on the Covid-19 pandemic, WhatsApp will be working directly with NGOs and governments, including the World Health Organization to help connect people with accurate information. 

"Together these trusted authorities have sent hundreds of millions of messages directly to people requesting information and advice. You can learn more about these efforts, as well as how to submit potential myths, hoaxes and rumors to fact checking organizations, on our Coronavirus Information Hub," said PR agency for Facebook, Idea Engineers.

As the lockdown continues, the messaging service is being used now more than ever by people seeking to keep in touch with loved ones. In addition, all messages and calls on WhatsApp are end-to-end encrypted by default to give a secure place for the most personal conversations.

Last year, WhatsApp introduced users to the concept of messages that have been forwarded many times. These messages are labeled with double arrows to indicate they did not originate from a close contact. 

It will now introduce a limit so that these messages can only be forwarded to one chat at a time.

"As a private messaging service, we’ve taken several steps over the years to help keep conversations intimate. For example, we previously set limits on forwarded messages to constrain virality, which led to a 25% decrease in message forwards globally at the time."

"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."


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