WhatsApp limits message forwarding to slow the spread of coronavirus misinformation

WhatsApp limits message forwarding to slow the spread of coronavirus misinformation

WhatsApp has tightened message forwarding limits restricting users to sharing forwarded content one chat at a time after a jump in messages touting bogus medical advice since the start of the coronavirus crisis.

The pandemic, which has killed more than 70,000 people worldwide, has been accompanied by what the World Health Organization (WHO) has called an “infodemic” of misinformation, prompting governments and other authorities to urge social media companies to do more to combat the problem.

In Ireland, both the Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and the Tánaiste Simon Coveney have warned the public about bogus information being spread through WhatsApp which had the potential to cause a public panic.

WhatsApp, which has more than 2 billion users worldwide, said in a blog post it made the change after observing a “significant increase” in the number of forwards since the start of the coronavirus crisis.

“We believe it’s important to slow the spread of these messages down to keep WhatsApp a place for personal conversation,” the statement said.

A WhatsApp spokesman said the new limit was in place indefinitely.

- Additional reporting Reuters

More on this topic

Sony launches dream vlog camera for creatorsSony launches dream vlog camera for creators

Fastest ever internet speed recorded in Australia, researchers claimFastest ever internet speed recorded in Australia, researchers claim

Huawei P40 Pro boasts best-in-class camerasHuawei P40 Pro boasts best-in-class cameras

Zuckerberg wants West to lead the way on internet laws before China doesZuckerberg wants West to lead the way on internet laws before China does


More in this Section

FBD digs its heels in on payment issue as Covid claim cases top 700FBD digs its heels in on payment issue as Covid claim cases top 700

Ryanair leads travel stock surge as holiday hotspots prepare to reopenRyanair leads travel stock surge as holiday hotspots prepare to reopen

Shares drive ahead amid hopes for lifting of Covid-19 global lock downsShares drive ahead amid hopes for lifting of Covid-19 global lock downs

France unveils €8bn plan to rescue ailing car industryFrance unveils €8bn plan to rescue ailing car industry


Lifestyle

Cathal Coughlan is known for his part in Microdisney, but for many people his best output came with the harder-edged band he formed afterwards, writes Ed PowerB-Side the Leeside: The Fatima Mansions and the story of 'Viva Dead Ponies'

Limerick singer-songwriter Emma Langford recently released a new single ‘Mariana’ available to buy on Bandcamp, with all proceeds going to Safe Ireland.Question of Taste: Singer-songwriter Emma Langford

These jammy thumbprint cookies are dangerously moreish.Jammy thumbprint cookies recipe

You don’t need a fancy home gym to stay fit and healthy.7 tips for working out in small spaces at home

More From The Irish Examiner