Connectivity is a blessing as well as a curse. The true depiction of this statement is reflected in India where according to a report around 33 people have lost their lives due to mob justice attacks. WhatsApp is one of the most popular and commonly used means of communication. As it turns out the new features of this app may be driven keeping in mind the circumstances and lynchings in India. One of the most commonly listed causes of inconvenience and disruption of peace amongst the public is listed as the use of WhatsApp messages. It is estimated that India is amongst the top few countries that are known for being a fan of forwarded messages. It is a matter of minutes in India before anything becomes viral or any news is spread like wildfire. This can be both an advantage and a disadvantage as the authenticity and the source from which the WhatsApp message originated is under questioning.
Newly introduced feature:
The new feature that has been introduced this time is the mark on forwarded messages. The new update comes with a small mark on WhatsApp messages that says that it has been forwarded from another chat and has not been compiled by the sender himself. On July 19th it was also announced that there would be a limit on the number of chats to which a message could be forwarded. A WhatsApp message will only be able to be forwarded to 5 people or chats. Once the limit is reached the option to forward the message would no longer be available. Initially, it was planned to keep this limit only to the people of India who use the messaging application. However, then it was decided that this limit will be applicable for people all over the world.
Reason for this feature:
The introduction of this feature is aimed to verify the accuracy and originality of all the WhatsApp messages. The highlight of a forwarded message will help the receiver realize that the message was not composed by the sender. This will also help in understanding and uncover the chances of ambiguity or doubt. Even in the advertisements and announcements that were officially made by WhatsApp to announce the new update, the users of the communication platform and application were clearly and directly addressed and were told to think it through before sending a message or even forwarding a message that they have received.
The aim of the feature:
The aim of the feature is to reduce the risks of security threats as well as decrease the rate and percentage of the spread of false news or alarms on a global scale, however, the focus has been the demographics of India. It is hoped that the new feature will be a good and positive addition in the features of WhatsApp and that the WhatsApp messages would become more reliable and trustworthy over time. This is a step in the direction of making communication safe and hassle-free.