This isn’t a joke any more. But it is a great one. WhatsApp is taking the smart path to Keep its business by ensuring the nefarious activities of rumour-mongers across the platform is reduced significantly, especially as elections in places like Nigeria and Indonesia draw closer. The end-to-end mobile chat platform is reducing the number of shares per person to 5 per day.
The corporation has also contracted a UK-based fact-checking agency to help mop up incorrect information shared on WhatsApp. And if you still read newspapers you would have seen ads in Nigerian dailies aimed at stepping up the fight and sensitising Nigerians about the harms of spreading ‘fake news’.
WhatsApp parent company, Facebook Inc. is under intense scrutiny across continents, having been seen as a tool to democratize information even to the extent of manipulating info by users to rouse sentiments, ignite violent protests, and seduce the electorate as seen during the Trump/ Hilary intense battle for the White House in the US. Likewise, Professor Wole Soyinka, a Noble Laureate, also has in the past alluded to some fake news spread about his remarks against a former 1st Lady of Nigeria, Mrs. Dame Patience Jonathan.
The Facebook and WhatsApp business models are coming in for severe flak. The earlier the business rises to the occasion to clean up its system the better for its sustenance in the long run. However, it is also advisable for users to check the facts about any information they come across before hitting the share buttons.