WhatsApp has been taking steps to curb the spread of fake news on its platform for quite some time now. In the 2.19.97 beta update, the Facebook-owned messaging app is testing a new feature that would allow the group admins to stop “frequently forwarded messages” to be sent in the group, reported WAbetainfo.
The report mentions that the feature has not been enabled in the beta version of the app yet as it is in the developing phase. According to WAbetainfo, in the 2.19.80 beta update WhatsApp was testing two new features — “forwarding info” (that would inform how many times a message has been forwarded) and “frequently forwarded message” — which have been enabled in the 2.19.86 beta update.
Watch: Whatsapp’s new features against fake news
How the feature will work in WhatsApp
As per the report, once activated, the feature can be enabled from the “Group settings”. Only the group administrators can see and edit the “Frequently forwarded messages” option in the group settings. On tapping it, the admin will be asked to “Choose to allow participants to send frequently forwarded messages to this group” with “Allow” and “Don’t allow” options.
While group admins can restrict the frequently forwarded messages in their groups, a user can always copy and paste such messages and send it to as many groups and people they want. But it will slow down the process considerably, and not everyone is so passionate to share a message to this extent.
The report mentions that WhatsApp is currently testing the feature in this Android version and as of now no tracks have been found in the iOS app. However, the messaging service is expected to test the feature in iOS soon.
WhatsApp recently restricted group settings for users, allowing them to ensure that not everybody can add them to a group automatically. WhatsApp users can now limit the option of being added to a group to only their contacts or even no one. The default setting remains that anyone can add a user to a group.