Flaw in WhatsApp can allow hackers to send fake messages

Donna Miller
August 9, 2018

The move will help users identify fake news and hoaxes, effective in curtailing the spread of fake news on the platform. According to news agency IANS, WhatsApp confirmed that it has begun rolling out its forward message limit in India, which is its biggest market at 200 million users.

In simple words, this means that the Indian users won't be able to forward any message to more than 5 contacts at one go.

Government officials, however, have categorically said they are not satisfied with WhatsApp's response, particularly as its key demands of "traceability" and attribution of messages remain unaddressed reports PTI.

The government has asked WhatsApp to come out with more effective solutions to bring in accountability and facilitate law enforcement, in addition to labelling forwards and identifying fake news.

The app noted it recently placed a limit on forwarding content, added a label to forwarded messages, and made a series of changes to group chats in order to tackle the challenge of misinformation.

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Apart from the forward message limit, WhatsApp also launched educational videos in India asking users to "double check" facts before sharing messages received as forwards.

WhatsApp hopes to keep the platform a private messaging app by limiting the number of forwards, and also stop quick spread of misinformation. However, there is a work around to forwarded messages, where people can also copy the message or save the media file to their device, and then share it again to multiple chats.

WhatsApp said that with new changes, which it will continue to evaluate, "will help keep WhatsApp the way it was created to be: a private messaging app".

"This claim has nothing to do with the security of end-to-end encryption, which ensures only the sender and recipient can read messages sent on WhatsApp", a WhatsApp spokesperson noted. WhatsApp has been in the news lately for a spate of violent lynchings due to fake news circulated through the platform.

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