WhatsApp has been restricting forwarded messages for years, but its work is still incomplete. The platform today announced a new feature that allows users to search the web for more information on frequently forwarded messages.
Now, a magnifying glass will also appear next to those messages. If the user clicks on the magnifying glass, their browser will open with news results or other information about the content they received. To maintain privacy, WhatsApp will never see the same message.
At the moment, this feature is experimental. Launched today in Brazil, Italy, Ireland, Mexico, Spain, UK, and the USA, Users will need the latest WhatsApp version for Android, iOS, or WhatsApp Web.
In 2019, after the spread of incorrect information about WhatsApp led to violence in India, WhatsApp lowered the message forwarding limit to just five groups of users. Earlier this year, WhatsApp said it saw a “huge increase” in forwarded messages. In response, it imposed stricter limits. Frequently forwarded messages (those with a double arrow symbol) can now only be forwarded to one conversation at a time.
As with the previous procedures, allowing people to search for more information about forwarded messages will not necessarily allow cheating. But you can encourage users to review messages before they are authenticated or transferred. It is also another way for WhatsApp to reduce fake news without checking messages, so the platform can deliver on its promises with full encryption.
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