Chances are, your family Whatsapp groups are hotbeds for fake news. The Facebook-owned application is finally doing something to bring the spread of misinformation to a halt. Whatsapp’s latest feature limits the number of messages users can forward to other people, a major step to put an end to this “infodemic”.
Of course, sharing information is one way to support friends and family—but it’s never been more important for information to be accurate and fact-checked.
While your mom and her friends might think sharing fake news to family chat groups is insignificant, its spread can quickly turn unmanageable. To put it simply: if one message gets forwarded to enough people, in the blink of an eye millions end up receiving and spreading fake, dangerous information.
It’s practically impossible to pinpoint that “friend’s friend who’s a doctor and works closely with the government”. Yet, the spread of fake claims and cures around Coronavirus (nope, holding your breath for 10 seconds isn’t a Coronavirus test) without credible sources is still rampant.
At least our moms will now have to think twice before hitting the forward button.