WhatsApp is taking a few more steps with the message forwarding feature on its app. Two new features are being tested in a beta versions: ‘Forwarding Info’ and ‘Frequently forwarded’.
‘Forwarding Info’ allows users to check how many persons the message has been forwarded to. If you check the Message Info box, you will see this entry forwarded – 1 or 2 or 3 times. The only issue that is still unclear as of now if whether this facility will be available to those messages that you forward as received from someone else as well.
The other feature is ‘Frequently forwarded’. In this, if any message that gets forwarded more than to 5 persons or accounts will be delivered with the remark frequently forwarded. The underlying purpose for WhatsApp introducing this feature might be to create an auto-alert of a kind. If a message is getting frequently forwarded, WhatsApp can check if there is any content in it that needs to be pulled out.
After it faced a lot of criticism in the past over fake message being circulated through the app, which led to incidents of lynching and violence, WhatsApp added ‘forwarded’ along with message which were forwarded by someone to another. This served a purpose of letting the recipient of a message that it is not from the individual, but someone had sent to that person.
With the elections in India starting from the month of April, the Election Commission has issued certain dos and don’ts to the social media platforms including WhatsApp and they have agreed to cooperate in ensuring that any kind of fake news or undesirable messages are allowed to be spread among the public that can influence the voters in any manner.
These features are yet to be released for all users, but that may happen very soon.