WhatsApp makes it easy to forward messages. Yet in the future it seems to become a bit more difficult to share information.
Many people use the feature to forward messages from other chats in WhatsApp. It’s very easy, since all you have to do is hold down the message and then click on the forward option. There you can select who you want to share the message with. Still, that’s probably going to look a little different in the future.
Preventing fake news
Fake news was already a hot topic during Donald Trump’s presidency. Services like Facebook and Twitter therefore decided to label news and thus warn the user. It seemed to calm down for a while regarding this topic, but since the invasion of Ukraine by Russia it flares up again. This time propaganda from Russia is on the agenda. WhatsApp now also seems to be taking measures.
The European Union previously imposed restrictions on the news supply of the Russian state media Sputnik and Russia Today. This is to prevent the spread of fake news. Of course, this way of reporting is fairly straightforward. However, sharing news is done in many more ways. Nowadays, WhatsApp is an important medium for this. By forwarding a message from another chat, this is quite simple.
WhatsApp, Facebook and Telegram. (Image: ANP XTRA LEX VAN LIESHOUT)
WhatsApp takes action
Parent company Meta took action against this before. For example, it indicated in WhatsApp when a message was forwarded more often. If this was more than four times it received a label “often forwarded” above a message.
In beta version 22.214.171.124 of WhatsApp for Android, the forwarding feature has been further restricted. Information from WaBetainfo shows that in this version it is only possible to forward a message to one chat. If users try to do this anyway, they will receive a notification about it. If you still want to share a message with more than one chat you will have to do this manually, which takes a bit more work.
The big question is why WhatsApp chooses to change the function, but fake news seems to be the main reason. It is still unknown if and when this restriction will be included in the final version of WhatsApp.