Facebook-owned messaging platform WhatsApp has been facing criticism from various quarters over the spread of fake news and was recently reprimanded by the Indian government too. Days after vowing to fight the issue, late on Tuesday, it rolled out the much-awaited ‘Forwarded’ feature. In a blog post, WhatsApp said that from now on, it will highlight when a message is forwarded and not composed by the sender. The company said that this move will make one-on-one and group chats easier to follow.
“Starting today, WhatsApp will indicate which messages you receive have been forwarded to you. This extra context will help make one-on-one and group chats easier to follow,” the blog post read. It added that because of this new WhatsApp feature, the users will also be able to determine if their friend or relative wrote the message they sent or if it originally came from someone else. However, to see this new forwarding label, users need to have the latest supported version of WhatsApp on their phone.
“WhatsApp cares deeply about your safety. We encourage you to think before sharing messages that were forwarded. As a reminder, you can report spam or block a contact in one tap and can always reach out to WhatsApp directly for help. For more information, please visit our WhatsApp Safety Tips page,” the post added.
WhatsApp has found itself in the thick of controversy over a series of mob lynchings triggered by what police and authorities have claimed were fake rumours. Incidents have been reported from several states and at least 22 people have lost their lives in these incidents in the past three months alone.
Last week, the company had replied to the Indian government’s notice by saying that it was testing a new label that highlights when a message has been forwarded. WhatsApp had said that this feature could serve as an important signal for recipients to think twice before forwarding messages because it lets a user know if the content they received was written by the person they know or a potential rumour from someone else.
How to get WhatsApp ‘Forwarded’ feature?
To get this feature, the users need to download the latest version of the app on their device. The label will sit on top of the forwarded message to highlight that it hasn’t been created afresh for you. Interestingly, there is no option to disable the label which means that users who forward the messages won’t be able to remove it from their side.
To check how this label appears, the users can select and forward one of the messages available within another WhatsApp chat thread. The feature was earlier a part of the WhatsApp beta for Android version 2.18.179 that was released last month. – Financial Express