WhatsApp on Android and iOS device will highlight frequently forwarded messages with a couple of curly arrows (forward icon) if media reports get it right. Currently, messages get highlighted with a single curly arrow, irrespective of the frequency of that particular message, forwarded.
I cannot make out whether a specific message has been forwarded how many times from the present forward icon – single curly arrow on the top left-hand corner of the message box. But, media reports now say that this will soon come to a pass!
Will Frequently Forwarded Messages Feature on WhatsApp Checkout the Authenticity of Messages Shared?
This will indicate to the WhatsApp user that message has been repeatedly forwarded, and coming as usual, from, of course, without revealing the original source.
There are two aspects to this – one which may indicate the worth of the message forwarded, including the content, authenticity, and second is the quality of the message. Not necessarily that the fact stated in it may be true, but at least from its circulation to several people in the loop does give some credence to the information shared, albeit with caution.
WhatsApp says that it is a private messaging platform originally built to help people message their friends and loved ones. This is ‘picture perfect’ as they say. But in situations where there are chances of rumors, incitement of violence, illicit or fake information being shared and spread; the problems get compounded. As the medium has gained stature, it is susceptible to such activities and has displayed its vulnerability in spreading wrong or incorrect information, not at all of its making. All this, thanks to internet speed and platform convenience it offers to its users.
Spurious News & Their Effects as They Spread Over Social Media
News spreads like fire and over WhatsApp, even faster, as witnessed by many social media users in India and the world over. In India, recent ‘mob lynching’ and other ‘communal conflagrations’ rumors besides additional spurious information spread over WhatsApp, has become a big talking point across sections of the media and society.
Among them some pertinent questions asked: should there be some censorship; should there be monitoring or ban on social media compromising the right to freedom of information of citizens?
Beyond Highlighted Frequently Forwarded Messages….
When such news/information is shared over WhatsApp, there was no indication as to where it originated from, and whether it was shared earlier, among person or persons. This new feature indicated with a couple of curly arrows will at least make me or anyone aware about the same message getting circulated well over WhatsApp. The cutoff base for indicating the minimum number of frequent forwards is rumored at, minimum five messages.
Now, do we users get message about the authenticity of the news and integrity of the news, will always concern us till WhatsApp takes action and removes it from the circulation.
Is WhatsApp going to open its prying eyes to monitor the circulation of information? Will it filter for authenticity parameters and finally approve/share frequently shared information indicated by multiple curly arrows?
Will it be able to cut the ‘crap’ and allow free flow of clean and genuine information spread across its platform adhering to its usages policies?
So, is WhatsApp going to monitor the circulation of information in terms of various authenticity aspects and parameters to finally approve/share frequently shared information indicated by multiple curly arrows or truly going to stop all ‘nonsense?’
Have your say, and if WhatsApp is peeping in, it might help us all!