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WhatsApp sees dramatic fall in 'highly forwarded' messages

WhatsApp has recorded a 70 percent fall in "highly forwarded" messages.

The messaging app has seen a marked drop-off in the type of messages that may spread misinformation about the coronavirus, after the World Health Organization described the spread of fake news about the pandemic as an "info-demic".

A spokesperson for the tech company - which has recently tried to clamp down on the spread of so-called fake news - explained: "WhatsApp is committed to doing our part in tackling viral messages. This change is helping keep WhatsApp a place for personal and private conversations."

Despite this, the company continues to attract criticism for its part in the spread of fake news, especially amid the pandemic.

Imran Ahmed, the chief executive of the Center for Countering Digital Hate, told the BBC: "More needs to be done by social media giants such as WhatsApp. There is still a vast amount of misinformation on the platform.

"The 70 percent figure seems to mask a lot of complexity on a topic where the nuance is critically important. What metric are they using for that?

"In a time when people cannot meet face-to-face, the misinformation crisis is being entirely driven by social-media spread."

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