The site specializing in the instant messaging application has discovered that WhatsApp will continue its efforts to protect its users from fake news.
WhatsApp fights against the spread of fake news
The novelties are endless for WhatsApp. While multi-device support has just been rolled out, Meta is working on many other features, including the ability to facilitate interactions with unsaved numbers. But that’s not all. WhatsApp will soon roll out a limitation on the number of messages users can forward. The objective: to drastically combat the spread of fake news.
Already introduced last month in the beta of the Android application, these restrictions will arrive in the beta version of iOS before being deployed to all users of the stable version. However, this new rule will only apply to messages that have already been forwarded.
This is not the first time WhatsApp has imposed such limitations. In 2019, the application had already restricted the forwarding of messages to a maximum of five recipients with the same objective. More recently, they had been reduced to one person to stem the spread of false information about the coronavirus.
WhatsApp: beware, a phishing attack steals all your personal data
Hackers impersonate WhatsApp in order to seize users’ personal data, report our colleagues from Bleeping Computer. Citing the conclusions of computer security researchers from Armorblox, the media said that a phishing campaign is currently targeting users of the instant messaging application.
The modus operandi is as follows. First, the victim will receive an email allegedly sent by WhatsApp teams. This email claims that you have received a voicemail on the app. To bypass spam filters, the hackers apparently appropriated an e-mail address belonging to the Center for Traffic Safety of the Moscow region. The organization would have been hacked.
HACKERS IMPOSE THE IDENTITY OF WHATSAPP TO STEAL YOUR CRYPTOCURRENCIES
The email sent by the hackers includes a “play” button that offers users to listen to the message. To motivate victims to click, hackers swipe more information about the voice message, like duration. The email hopes to pique your curiosity.
Once the user presses this play button, they are automatically redirected to a malicious website. This website will ask you to click “Allow” to confirm that you are not a robot. Without knowing it, the Internet user will allow the site to flood it with advertisings in the browser for scams, adult sites and malware. This trick allows attackers to quickly generate ad revenue. Several malware, often present on the Play Store, also do this.
WhatsApp: send SMS and call unsaved contacts
WhatsApp has become a household name in mobile instant messaging apps on Android and iOS ecosystems. The Meta-owned email service is also popular among desktop and laptop users around the world. It is undoubtedly one of the most feature-rich messaging apps.
Despite this, WhatsApp regularly works on additional features for its platform. This time, WhatsApp is said to be testing a new feature that would help users easily send text messages to unsaved contacts.
WhatsApp plans to simplify texting with unsaved contacts
If you’ve used WhatsApp, you should know that you need to save a contact before you can start a conversation with that person. However, users have been asking for an easy workaround for this for a long time. WhatsApp is already making it easy for users to send messages to any mobile number without saving it.
WhatsApp has already started working on a feature that will allow users to no longer have to save a contact to start messaging. The company is currently testing this feature with the Android beta app. It was spotted in the Android beta with version 188.8.131.52.
The report explains in more detail how this will work. Users will now be able to message any unsaved contact, as long as that person is also using WhatsApp on their device. Once you access the bubble from the WhatsApp home page, an in-app menu will appear with the chat option. In addition to chat or text, the next feature of the in-app menu will also allow users to save or call the unsaved contact.
It should be mentioned that this new WhatsApp option is still in the testing phase. WhatsApp currently has no idea when it plans to release the full-scale stable version. Nevertheless, it is possible that we may see its rollout for WhatsApp Android first and then for the iOS version.
WhatsApp: a rule change on the horizon
One transfer, one exclusive chat group
WhatsApp plans to limit the number of messages a user can forward. Clearly, these are new restrictions when forwarding messages to other group chats.
Concretely, once the message is marked as forwarded, it is no longer possible to send it to more than one group at a time. Thus, once the user has forwarded a message for the first time, a message in the form of a yellow banner will appear at the top of the screen. This will indicate to the user that he can no longer forward messages to more than one newsgroup.
Note that these new message forwarding rules only apply to messages that have already been forwarded.
A gradual deployment
This message transfer limitation is in full deployment. It should be available to more people in the coming weeks.
Indeed, before being deployed to all users in the stable version of the application, this restriction was first introduced in a beta version of the Android application last month. It is now available in the iOS beta, so for those who are part of the WhatsApp TestFlight program on iOS.
As a reminder, instant messaging had already limited the transfer of messages to five recipients to limit the circulation of false information. And that was three years ago. Prior to these updates, users could share a message with up to 20 contacts.
To stem fake news, WhatsApp on iOS will limit message forwarding
Preventing users from sharing false information too quickly with many contacts is the primary objective of a new measure expected soon on WhatsApp. Adopted in Brazil three years ago, this measure is part of the efforts of the Meta group (Facebook) to limit misinformation. As SamaGame reports, this novelty is currently being tested through the WhatsApp iOS 184.108.40.206 beta. For the time being, the Android version of the application does not seem to be affected.
ONLY TRANSFERS OF MESSAGES ARE CONCERNED
Note that this “feature” only applies to message forwarding. If you are the original sender of the message, you can send it without constraint to as many people as you want. For message forwarding, however, users will only be able to forward one message at a time.
We also learn that in Brazil, the concept goes a little further: the application differentiates between a message transferred once and messages relayed several times. In the first case, the message can then be shared with a maximum of five different conversations; while in the second it can only be transferred once.