WhatsApp Tackles Fake News through their latest communication strategy
WhatsApp Tackles Fake News through their latest communication strategy. Communication. Communication. Communication. This five-syllable word has changed the focus of almost all companies globally and is the leading factor in most business strategies in 2019. Touching on the importance of a digital communication strategy, Azuka posted at length about the growing use of instant messaging in 2018, the rise of Telegram and the ever-increasing rivalry it presented for the lean, green WhatsApp Machine. The first month of the year isn’t even over yet, and WhatsApp has just announced more measures to combat the ever-growing issue of fake news adding another layer to communication, which companies should focus their attention.
In the latest attack on the rapid spreading of fake news, the instant messaging giant has enabled a feature that will block users from forwarding messages to more than five individuals or groups. The new rules emerge as WhatsApp continues their global rollout against the spreading of false information. On Monday 21 January 2019 at an event in Jakarta, WhatsApp’s vice-president for policy and communications announced the latest feature that will conform to the limit put in place in July 2018 in India.
“We settled on five because we believe this is a reasonable number to reach close friends while helping prevent abuse.” – Carl Woog, Head of Communication at WhatsApp.
Communication strategies have been put in place by companies throughout the last few years to allow clients, customers and users to connect in ways they previously were not able to, primarily through digital platforms. At the core of digital strategies, it is critical to be aware of the responsibilities of instant messaging platforms.
While fake stories and deceitful groups on Facebook were focused on in 2018, WhatsApp has become problematic globally. For example; in Brazil WhatsApp played a role in the country’s presidential elections where wrong voting information, conspiracy theories and fake stories about candidates spread like wildfire across the platform. A study on the Brazilian false news case revealed that political group chats showed 50% of the widely shared images to be wholly misleading or presented out of context.
While the smaller forwarding limit could help curb the spread of wrong information, it won’t necessarily be as limiting as it sounds. Messages can still be forwarded to groups, with each group including up to 256 people. That means a sent message could be put in front of nearly 1,300 people, despite the five-time limit.
In this day an age, even the average cybercriminal will use any messaging platforms like WhatsApp to further their agenda’s. What is however reassuring, is the speed at which platforms like WhatsApp have taken action to combat such attacks and providing solutions that will protect the users. – Henry McCracken, General Manager of Sales and Marketing at Azuka
With a plethora of messaging services to use, users are continually engaging with the possibility of fake news from sources they trust. Digital communication has become too important to not focus on the protection of all those who use it, from business to personal use. Protecting the users experience on these digital platforms forms not only part of communications strategy but is mostly a pivotal component to incorporate into your customer experience strategy this year.
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