21 January 2019 05:11
Updated January 21, 2019 at 17:13
Starting this week, the WhatsApp messaging service will change the number of times a user can forward a message to their contacts. In an effort to combat the spread of false news, "misinformation and rumors", the platform will limit the references to five times, according to company executives yesterday, during an event in Indonesia.
"We are imposing a limit of five messages around the world starting today," said Victoria Grand, vice president of Policy and Communications at WhatsApp.
Before, users of the social network could forward a message to 20 contacts or groups. With this reduction, it is expected to attack the propagation of chains and false information, which in some cases led to lynchings and persecutions in several countries, including Colombia.
In October 2018, the Bogotá Metropolitan Police confirmed that the collective attack on a man in the Acapulco sector, in the city of Ciudad Bolivar, would originate from a false chain of WhatsApp that accused him of alleged kidnapping of underage.
But in particular a case in India, in which a crowd of 50-60 people attacked two men because of a false chain spread by WhatsApp, gave rise to the fact that in July last year the new measure of five shipments was established in the country, and from there to this week will be applied globally.
WhatsApp, which has about 1,500 million users worldwide, has tried on several occasions to find ways to stop the misuse of its application, in the face of global concern for the viralization of false news, manipulated photographs, videos without context and deception. by audio, without any way of being able to investigate its origin or its total purpose.
Point-to-point encryption of the application allows groups of hundreds of users to exchange texts, photos and videos out of the reach of independent data verifiers or the same platform.
WhatsApp, the parent company of the Facebook company, has been examined worldwide for its role in spreading false news and misinformation in the past year, in particular. In addition, the social network has been studied in several countries to allow data from millions of users to end up in the hands of Cambridge Analytica.
& NegativeThinSpace; The platform will evaluate the effects of the measurement, which will first be performed for devices running Android, and then for users of Apple iOS.