WhatsApp Limits Message Forwarding to Cut Down on Hoaxes and Misinformation

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WhatsApp says it is limiting the ability to forward messages to multiple chats at once in an attempt to reduce the spread of spam and misinformation.

The news follows WhatsApp's recent decision to add labels that indicate to users that a message has been forwarded.

The change was announced by the company in a blog post that specifically mentions India, where the spreading of fake messages over the chat platform has reportedly incited lynchings.
Today, we're launching a test to limit forwarding that will apply to everyone using WhatsApp. In India - where people forward more messages, photos, and videos than any other country in the world - we'll also test a lower limit of 5 chats at once and we'll remove the quick forward button next to media messages.

We believe that these changes -- which we'll continue to evaluate -- will help keep WhatsApp the way it was designed to be: a private messaging app.
WhatsApp's wording suggests the limit is a test, however a spokesperson told Recode that the company was "horrified" by the violence in India, and that it had announced several changes to help address the issues.

On Thursday, the BBC reported on one incident in India that left one man dead and two others severely injured after false rumors went viral on WhatsApp that they had tried to abduct children. It's the latest in a series of viral message-related crimes in the country that has resulted in 12 dead over the last month.

(Via TechCrunch.)

Article Link: WhatsApp Limits Message Forwarding to Cut Down on Hoaxes and Misinformation
 

fairuz

macrumors 68020
Aug 27, 2017
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WhatsApp seems ok, but I'm with Jan Koum, the founder and now ex-CEO. If he's upset about it, that's a bad sign.
[doublepost=1532126484][/doublepost]
its end-to-end encryption messages=private. whats your point?
End to end encryption doesn't guarantee privacy from the consumer's point of view, but it's still a good thing and deserves some trust. The corp running the servers does it to make it easier to avoid screwups.

A couple of ways such an app can still not be private: The client reporting additional metrics to the server, e.g. for ads (FB does this). Or, less likely but still possible, the server lying about clients' public keys to intercept and decrypt messages then re-encrypt them.
 
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KPandian1

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Oct 22, 2013
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End to end encryption doesn't guarantee privacy from the consumer's point of view, but it's still a good thing and deserves some trust.
A couple of ways such an app can still not be private: The client reporting additional metrics to the server, e.g. for ads (FB does this). Or, less likely but still possible, the server lying about clients' public keys to intercept and decrypt messages then re-encrypt them.
More commonly, especially in some countries, some members of a group act as spies and betray the content of these end-to-end encrypted messages, politically hot topics, to so called authorities or worse, moral/religious "vigilantes".

This is why WhatsApp moderators are arrested by local authorities, or worse, assaulted and even murdered by rogues.
 

ThunderSkunk

macrumors 68030
Dec 31, 2007
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Hmmmmm.....guess what, it's *the Indian people which are the problem, and nearly
no-one tries to do something about it.
You have to start changing peoples mindset.
And yes, I have been to India, I like the country overall but it has it's oddities.

* most
I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but unfortunately this is not a problem exclusive to India. It's a nearly universal problem, and as old as the concept of society itself. Remember why the Greeks created their democracy and then abandoned it after about five minutes... sheep herders out in them thar hills are too disconnected from, uninterested in, and misinformed about the minutea of Athenian society to form an educated opinion & valuable input. Similarly, the slaves and women had no vested interest to ensure they would take their vote seriously either. And viola, aristocracy. The quality of a vote is only as good as the quality of your societies ability to understand what it's voting on, and that hinges on free and open communications, educating and involving all the people. Compounded by the problem that the most sensational & least rigorous ideas spread fastest & farthest, and you start to see why there's been a total lack of progress on the problem in about 2500 years, with predictable results. To connect the people solves that isolation & detachment, but comes at a cost of enabling the most sensational, poor ideas to spread that much more efficiently. Since the world doesn't have the patience to ensure the quality of their information stream like a Scientific Journal, restricting the generational lifespan of forwarding vectors is an interesting way to combat the problem from the other direction. While no one on earth has ever successfully managed to restrict the spread of information for long without catastrophic results, perhaps this can be implemented in such a way as to ensure that the game of telephone keeps close to the actual source, and the source is held to light & accountable. Could go a few directions. Interesting.
 
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KPandian1

macrumors 65816
Oct 22, 2013
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Hmmmmm.....guess what, it's *the Indian people which are the problem, and nearly
no-one tries to do something about it.
You have to start changing peoples mindset.
And yes, I have been to India, I like the country overall but it has it's oddities.

* most
The reply I have to this issue raised by you is political; this thread is not supposed to be political. I don't know how to ask the moderators to amend the thread rules.

2012-2016 disinformation campaign via facebook, twitter, etc., reaching the depths of liberal arts ivory towers' foundations.

You can edit your own post, instead of using the asterisk.
 
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saqibhasan

macrumors member
Oct 10, 2007
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Hmmmmm.....guess what, it's *the Indian people which are the problem, and nearly
no-one tries to do something about it.
You have to start changing peoples mindset.
And yes, I have been to India, I like the country overall but it has it's oddities.

* most
Yes, that dude who tried to shoot up the pizzeria in the USA which had been reported as being a Clinton front for pedophilia was Indian.

It’s obviously just an Indian problem.

(For those in any doubt, yes, add a large sprinkle of sarcasm).
 
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mingravity

macrumors regular
Sep 5, 2013
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Hmmmmm.....guess what, it's *the Indian people which are the problem, and nearly
no-one tries to do something about it.
You have to start changing peoples mindset.
And yes, I have been to India, I like the country overall but it has it's oddities.

* most
true i agree but people dont change overnight. and some cases would need a generation for the change to happen. So its good WhatsApp is doing what it can to help.
 

macintoshmac

macrumors 68040
May 13, 2010
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I come from India, and will be absolutely upfront about the issue.

The rise in use of social media to polarise the impressionable youth in the country for political mileage in the 2014 elections has given way to this boom in the hatred and violence on the platform in India. The other reason is that people on the internet do what they will dare not do to anyone on face. Unfortunately, this is a plague-like situation in modern India today, where for political gains the ruling party is recruiting swarms of public to disseminate information to the public in order to influence an outcome.

My above response is clearly political, and the thread cannot be sustained without mentioning the facts as they exist in my country at least, so mods are free to scrub my post or push the thread into the political section so that minds across the world who come to our forums can give their inputs and enjoy a healthy, harmonious discourse.

There is a shortage of inter-personal tolerance in the world, today.
 

justperry

macrumors G4
Aug 10, 2007
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Home is everywhere and nowhere.
The reply I have to this issue raised by you is political; this thread is not supposed to be political. I don't know how to ask the moderators to amend the thread rules.

2012-2016 disinformation campaign via facebook, twitter, etc., reaching the depths of liberal arts ivory towers' foundations.

You can edit your own post, instead of using the asterisk.
Guess what, everything is political.

Why should I edit my post, I did not say anything wrong here, as I said, I have been there for a while, so I know a bit here and there about the country, I have been in Asia and living there for over 10 years.

Tip, if you want to report a post you can do so by clicking on the report button under a post, it's in between the share and like buttons.
 

KPandian1

macrumors 65816
Oct 22, 2013
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Guess what, everything is political.

Why should I edit my post, I did not say anything wrong here.

Tip, if you want to report a post you can do so by clicking on the report button under a post.
I don't want to report your post - no need.

I meant edit your post for corrections instead of using the asterisk.