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WhatsApp to launch new feature to stop users from forwarding spam messages
WhatsApp to launch new feature to stop users from forwarding spam messages
Published at: 4 month(s) ago

New York, United States: The Facebook-owned instant messaging platform WhatsApp is working on a feature in its app which will empower its users to prevent spam messages, a watcher of the app's beta changes said.

According to WABetaInfo, a fan website that tests new features, the feature is still in its beta version and isn't officially enabled yet. This feature will be developed for both Android and iOS, platforms for which it is already being tested (disabled by default).

Several WhatsApp sites have provided screen caps of these messages, which don’t directly say the message is spam or fake news, but notify you that the content has been frequently shared.

WhatsApp chain messages can be innocent, but they can also contain any manner of scams. Some popular ones include a message that urges users to pay in order to use the service, one that touts access a non-existent service called WhatsApp Gold, and another that tricks you into opening a legitimate-looking document that can download malware and steal your personal information.

WhatsApp also has a problem with fake news frequently being forwarded as well. These viral messages have had real-world consequences, resulting in hysteria and mob attacks in India, and the use of doctored images and “social media warfare” to help get India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi into office.

Fighting spammy messages and fake news across all social media platforms has increasingly been a topic of debate. While companies have, for the most part, been trying to tackle the problem, it hasn’t always been successful. As recent as this week, a test Facebook conducted with News Feed was actually found to boost posts that promote fake news.

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