Earlier in the week, WhatsApp brought in much-needed privacy feature which made it mandatory for group admins to get prior permission from a person before adding them to a community chat forum. Now, the company is planning to bring more stringent rules for group chat sessions to reduce the number of forwarded messages flooding the app.
WABetaInfo, which actively tracks tests conducted in WhatsApp has claimed that the Facebook-owned company is planning to bring three new features- 'Forwarding info', to let the user know how many times, it has been shared and another 'Frequently Forwarded Message,' which will be tagged to messages.
Also, most importantly WhatsApp is also bringing a feature that gives the user the power to block 'frequently forwarded message' from flooding the chat sessions. This will be particularly helpful in India, where family and friends have a nasty habit of sending good morning and good night messages every day and also during the elections, the forwarded messages increases manifold.
As of now, all the aforementioned features are under testing on both Android and iOS platforms, registered beta users can find them in the recently released update versions--2.19.86 and 18.104.22.168, respectively.
In a related development, Facebook-owned company is busy making improvements in its messenger app in India, as the general election nears. WhatsApp in collaboration with PROTO, a local media skilling startup has opened a hotline for callers to tip off the authorities about the spread of misinformation.
If the user receives suspicious messages, rumours, false information on WhatsApp, he or she can call or forward the message to Checkpoint Tipline on WhatsApp +91-9643-000-888.
Once a WhatsApp user shares a suspicious message with the tipline, Proto's verification centre will validate the information, and inform the user if the claim made in a message shared is authentic or not.
However, the hotline is unlikely to help much, as the number of users on WhatsApp in India, runs in the upwards of 50 million and it will be difficult for the company to respond to every complaint.
Users can also try installing the cVIGIL app on their smartphone, where they can take images or record video of local candidates doing any malpractices to entice voters and complain to the Election Commission of India.
Lok Sabha election 2019 is slated to kick off on April 11 and conclude on May 19, while the counting of voting is scheduled on May 23.