On popular demand from State and Non-State entities that are involved in the fight against the COVID-19 Pandemic world over; WhatsApp has decided not make major restrictions, but to put in place certain restrictions alongside limits on already forwarded message to just one group/individual at a time.
WhatsApp is presently being used by billions of people across the globe for all types of usage from business to personal; and is being used to keep in touch with near and dear ones in this period of Lockdown. WhatsApp on its official blog also wrote: “People are talking to doctors, teachers, and isolated loved ones via WhatsApp during this crisis.”.
This is but true: from the supply chain of FMCG to the Medical Needs, as also the sharing of information and ‘used case‘ among the medical fraternity, WhatsApp is at it.
On 07 April 2020, with the aim of assisting the Government, and ensuring the curbing of ‘Forwards’ of Messages that create, Panic, Hate and Fake Publicity; WhatsApp, will now keep a complete track of Forwards by introducing a unique ID for each ‘forward’, mapping the same to the Message ID.
The Blog also says from mid-night of Tuesday (07 April 2020), Facebook has narrowed down the limit of forwarding messages to one chat at a time, down from five. WhatsApp users can also verify fake news on web using Search Message feature.
“Last year we introduced users to the concept of messages that have been forwarded many times. These messages are labelled with double arrows to indicate they did not originate from a close contact. In effect, these messages are less personal compared to typical messages sent on WhatsApp. We are now introducing a limit so that these messages can only be forwarded to one chat at a time.”
India is one of the largest subscribers with over 400 million users, among the 3000 million WhatsApp users globally. Along with the proactive participation of WhatsApp, India’s very own network surveillance tool, NETRA (short for Network Traffic Analysis), is also being now activated at the National level and with will also be operative by the CERT-In, NIXI and the LEAs.
In times of need, WhatsApp has always been at the forefront of all cooperation. This Restriction Apart, WhatsApp is also working with governments and charities to help bring its users accurate information.
WhatsApp has been quoted “In addition to this change, we are working directly with NGOs and governments, including the World Health Organization and over 20 national health ministries, to help connect people with accurate information. Together these trusted authorities have sent hundreds of millions of messages directly to people requesting information and advice. You can learn more about these efforts, as well as how to submit potential myths, hoaxes and rumors to fact checking organizations, on our Coronavirus Information Hub.”
We believe that now more than ever people need to be able to connect privately. Our teams are hard at work to keep WhatsApp running reliably during this unprecedented global crisis. We’ll continue to listen to your feedback and improve ways for people to share with each other on WhatsApp.” In its Official Blog (https://blog.whatsapp.com/)