WhatsApp seems to be testing its new feature of notifications that alert users on receiving the same message many times, or if they are about to forward one of these messages themselves, as reported by TechCrunch on January 16, 2018.
Several WhatsApp sites have provided screen caps of messages, which do not directly say the message is spam or fake news, and simply notifies the user stating that the content has been frequently shared. If a user receives one of these messages, the notification “Forwarded Many Times” will be visible under the sender’s name, and if the user is about to forward one of these messages, “A message you are forwarding has been forwarded many times.” Will be visible.
WhatsApp chain messages can be innocent, however, they can also contain any kind of scams. Some popular ones include a message that urges users to pay in order to use the service, one that touts access a non-existent service called WhatsApp Gold, and another that tricks into opening a legitimate-looking document that can download malware and steal personal information.
WhatsApp also has a problem with fake news frequently being forwarded as well. These viral messages have had real-world consequences, resulting in hysteria and mob attacks.
Fighting spammy messages and fake news across all social media platforms has increasingly been a topic of debate. Advancement in technologies and increasing use of 3G, 4G, and 5G wireless networks increasing the susceptibility to cyber-attacks of several devices integrated with these wireless networks, as elaborated in Internet of Things Security Market report published by Coherent Market Insights.
Several online services and mobile applications are thus developing various strategies to curtail the issue of spams and threats.