Like all online services, WhatsApp is prone to spam messages, but the company is now testing a new method to mitigate this problem.
Spam messages in WhatsApp are not much of a problem per say because most of the time they are just wasting people’s time. Unless the spam is trying to get some money out of the user, it’s just stuff that gets in the way.
Receiving a message that just says you have to forward it to at least ten people so that WhatsApp remains free of charge doesn’t really do anything. The service is powerful enough so that it won’t crash even if a lot, of people, do forward that message. In the end, this particular spam message feels like a social experiment.
How to detect messages on an encryption network
The challenge for spam detection on WhatsApp is a problem of their own making. Since the service provides end to end encryption, it means that the company can’t really read messages. But what they can do is detect how many times a particular message has been shared and the users behind the message.
According to a report on WhatsAppen.com, WhatsApp is already testing a feature for users that should crack down on the number of spam messages that are being sent. Users will get a warning if they get what’s considered a spam message. In this way, people won’t share it as much, hopefully.
This new feature is still in Beta, but the development branch of WhatsApp is moving very fast, and it will quickly become available to everyone. So, the next time you see a warning accompanying a message, please be considerate to the people in your address book and don’t forward it. It’s annoying, and we don’t really have the time to deal with that as well.
Of course, spam becomes smarter, and WhatsApp will have to keep up with it, but until then we’ll just have to contend with warnings.