How to control misinformation

While PR pros usually deal with clients who want help making their news go viral, WhatsApp is working on quite the opposite – controlling the virality of fake news. Amid the public health crisis, the social media app is limiting its users’ ability to forward content in an attempt to slow the spread of misinformation on its platform.

In a blog post, WhatsApp stated that it has previously set limits on forwarded messages and “saw a 25% decrease in total message forwarding globally.”

The app also noted that it has implemented a double arrow that appears alongside a message if it has been forwarded multiple times, so users are aware of information that is being mass-shared.

While forwarding messages can have the potential to spread misinformation, WhatsApp made a point to mention that not all forwarding is bad and encourages the spread of funny videos and memes – and, of course, helpful information.

WhatsApp is also working directly with NGOs and governments, including the World Health Organization and over 20 national health ministries, to help promote accurate information.

In addition to knowing how to spot fake news, it’s also important that media platforms are working to control its spread.

What do you think about WhatsApp’s efforts to control misinformation?

Photo by Kev Costello on Unsplash
Written by
at Apr 9, 2020

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