Although WhatsApp has already taken a lot of steps to curb the dissemination of fake news on the platform, it is now working on another feature to fight this problem. According to WABetainfo, the instant messenger now plans to give group admins the power to stop the participants from forwarding “Frequently Forwarded messages”.
How the Frequently Forwaded feature works
For the record, a message is regarded as a frequently forwarded message if it has been sent five times. So if you are in a group where an admin does not allow frequently forwarded messages to be in the group chat, then you will not be able to share in the group a message that has already been forwarded 5 times. Here’s WABetainfo explaining how the feature will work:
Frequently Forwarded Message feature, useful to discover if a message was frequently forwarded. This option will be available in future in Group Settings, and only administrators can see and edit it. When the feature is enabled, nobody will be able to send a frequently forwarded message in the group,” the WhatsApp observer said. Needless to say that people can copy the frequently forwarded message, and send it as a new message in as many individual groups as he/she wants to but then, this action will slow down the process
The feature may help WhatsApp stop spread of misinformation but it’s not completely foolproof. For instance, a user can simply copy and paste a “frequently forwarded” message and send it as a new message.
The feature has already rolled out in the beta version 2.19.97 on the Android platform. As to when the feature will be released on the stable version for everyone, WABetainfo doesn’t yet know.