A two arrow header reading “forwarded” is a common sight when it comes to using WhatsApp. Ever wondered how forwarding works on WhatsApp?
Continue reading and you will know how.
Initially there were no “forwarded” headers but in order to prevent spread of fake news. WhatsApp made this update. Furthermore it was possible to forward a message with up to twenty chats. But owing to the rapid spread of fake news in our country they set a new limit in India which is five and soon WhatsApp rolled out the same changes worldwide.
According to the WABetaInfo: “When the same message is forwarded 5 times, it means it’s frequently forwarded. WhatsApp identifies frequently forwarded messages with a double arrow icon. These messages can be forwarded to 1 chat at a time.“
Keeping end to end encryption in mind one may question how does WhatsApp know that a message is forwarded or frequently forwarded without invading privacy of the users?
Turns out a “message contains a ‘hidden flag‘ that keeps track of how many times it has been forwarded. This flag doesn’t keep track of who was the previous sender or the creator (so there is no traceability), but it’s like a counter that’s increased every time you forward the message to another chat.“
WABetaInfo also says: “It was possible to see the value of the forwarding counter in the message info, but WhatsApp has removed this feature some time ago.”
Even if the message is frequently forwarded, it is not a confirmation that it’s real you have to pay more attention if the message is frequently forwarded because it might contain wrong information that went viral. When a text message is frequently forwarded, you can quickly search it on the web to verify if it’s real, by tapping the search shortcut on WhatsApp for Android and iOS.
To know more about WhatsApp features in our previously published articles. Click Here.