WhatsApp plans to flag frequently forwarded messages to curb spam

PHOTO: Reuters

Not sure if a WhatsApp message in your group has been sent around like a chain letter? WhatsApp is now testing a feature that will let users know how many times a message has been forwarded.

To check, users just have to tap the message to bring up the Forwarding Info menu which will show the number of times it has been forwarded below the read and delivered timestamps.

The upcoming feature will also flag a message as Frequently Forwarded if it has been forwarded more than five times to alert users that it could be spam or fake news though it will no longer show a count.

Strangely, users can only get this info for the messages they send - in other words, you won't know if it has been forwarded multiple times until you actually send the message.

As a feature meant to curb spam and spread of fake news, this seems counterproductive.

WhatsApp BetaInfo, which discovered this feature, says it's currently being tested with version 2.19.80 of the beta app.

It expects the feature will be rolled out to everyone in the next update.

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