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COVID-19: Whatsapp Moves To Curb Spread Of Fake News On Its Platform

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The social media instant messaging app, Whatsapp has limited the message-forwarding feature on its platform to curtail the spread of fake news by some users of the app.

With over two billion users worldwide, Whatsapp is one of the most used apps by many people in Nigeria.

Administrators of the app in a blog post on Tuesday, announced that it has recorded an increase in the amount of message forwarding since the beginning of the coronavirus crisis and would, therefore, be limiting the messaging forwarding feature on its platform to slow the spread of fake news on COVID-19.

It added that messages would now be forwarded to one chat at a time once the content in question has been forwarded more than five times in total.

“We know many users forward helpful information, as well as funny videos, memes, and reflections or prayers they find meaningful,” said a spokesperson.

“In recent weeks, people have also used WhatsApp to organize public moments of support for frontline health workers.

“However, 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 a personal conversation.”

WhatsApp can’t read the messages being shared on its platform due to the end-to-end encryption, but it can count the number of times a particular content has been forwarded.

As at the last update on the coronavirus infection in Nigeria, the Nigeria Center for Disease Control, (NCDC) put the total number of confirmed cases at 238.



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