So what does it mean for users like you and me? In simple terms, WhatsApp has made it tougher for us to forward messages. (Photo Credit: File Photo)
WhatsApp, the messaging giant, introduced stricter rules to restrict users from forwarding anything en mass. The measure has been taken to curb the menace of fake news during the coronavirus pandemic. "Last year we 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. In effect, these messages are less personal compared to typical messages sent on WhatsApp. We are now introducing a limit so that these messages can only be forwarded to one chat at a time," WhatsApp said in a blogpost. The company said that it wants to keep the 'conversations intimate' and limit the 'virality' of the messages.
So what does it mean for users like you and me? In simple terms, WhatsApp has made it tougher for us to forward messages. For example, you receive a funny cat video from a friend. The message has been forwarded several times and comes to you with double arrows at the top. Now, if you want to send it to other people in your contact, all at once, you won't be able to do that. WhatsApp had earlier restricted the forwarding at one go to just five contacts. Now, that has been further curtailed to just one contact. Still confused? Well, let's just say you discover a beautiful song on the internet. Say, you forward that song clipping to five of your friends. Now, in case you want to forward it to the next five contacts, you won't be able to do that. From now on, you will be able to send an already forwarded message to just one contact instead of five.
In its statement, WhatsApp said that previous rules led to a '25% decrease in message forwards globally at the time.' The company has also said that it doesn't want to discourage users from forwarding the messages. It should be done more responsibly. '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,' the blogpost said.
According to the ministry's data updated at 9 am, three new deaths were reported from Rajasthan, while Tripura recorded its first coronavirus case. Maharashtra has reported the most coronavirus deaths at 45, followed by Gujarat at 12, Madhya Pradesh nine, Telangana and Delhi seven each, Punjab six and Tamil Nadu five fatalities. Karnataka registered four deaths, while West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh and Rajasthan have recorded three fatalities each. Two deaths each have been reported from Jammu and Kashmir and Kerala. Bihar, Himachal Pradesh and Haryana have reported one fatality each, according to the health ministry data.
(With agency inputs)