WhatsApp is testing two new updates to its ‘Forwarded’ message label in an effort to curb misinformation ans fake news from spreading on its platform. According to a WABetaInfo report, the ‘Forwarding Info’ and ‘Frequently Forwarded’ labels are a part of WhatsApp Android beta version 2.19.80.
The ‘Frequently forwarded’ label will appear on top of a message if the message has been forwarded more than four times, according to the report. The label appears in a way similar to the existing ‘Forwarded’ label, on top of the message bubble.
WhatsApp’s ‘Forwarding Info’ feature will tell inform users of the number of times a message sent by them has been forwarded. Users will need to head to Message information section, where forwarding details will be available along with existing ‘Read’ and ‘Delivered’ information.
The report notes that the feature only works for messages that the user send. To know forwarding information on messages that the users receive, they will need to forward it to someone, post which the number of times the message has been forwarded will be visible.
However, the forwarding information does not seem to be available if the message has been frequently forwarded, more than five times or more.
The report adds that the features are under development and are not available to beta testers as of now. The ‘Forwarding Info’ feature will reportedly be released in the next beta updates, though there is no word of when it will rolled out for stable version.
The features come as WhatsApp is struggling to stop misinformation from spreading on its platform, which has led to cases of mob violence and lynching in India triggered by rumours. Prior to this, WhatsApp introduced ‘Forwarded’ label, which helps identify whether a message is original or forwarded.
WhatsApp also puts a global limit on forwarded messages to five people. The idea is to alert users that the message they were reading was a forward, and not necessarily something that had been composed by their friend or contact who had forwarded the message.