WhatsApp puts heavy restrictions on forwarded messages to try to stop the spread of coronavirus misinformation, Huawei steps in to help Canada with its mask shortages, and federal prosecutors in Michigan stress that hijacking video calls is a crime.
WhatsApp announced its new message forwarding limits this week, restricting users to sharing forwarded content one chat at a time. The decision comes after a jump in forwarded messages since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. The messaging app says that “frequently forwarded” messages can only be forwarded to one chat at a time. “Frequent forwards” are messages that have been forwarded five times already and are marked with double arrows in WhatsApp, to try to show that they are not original. It’s not the first time that WhatsApp has made changes to frequent forwards – in 2018, it put a limit on forwarding to five chat groups at a time in India, after a number of killings by mobs based on false information forwarded by WhatsApp.
Chinese telecommunications company Huawei is helping Canada cope with the COVID-19 pandemic by flying millions of masks to the country as hospitals struggle with a shortage of safety equipment for healthcare workers. According to The Globe and Mail, the company has delivered over 1 million masks, 50,000 pairs of gloves and 30,000 goggles to Canada and continues to send more. It’s worth noting Huawei’s donation to Canada comes as the company seeks federal approval to install 5G technology on the country’s mobile networks.
And lastly, don’t think hijacking someone’s video conference call is a crime? Think again. Federal prosecutors in Michigan issued a stern warning recently. Possible charges include “disrupting a public meeting, computer intrusion, using a computer to commit a crime, hate crimes, fraud, or transmitting threatening communications,” the prosecutors warn.
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