WhatsApp changing how it handles offensive messages and spam

WhatsApp is testing a feature in the beta versions of its software that will allow users to report a specific message within a chat, rather than the chat itself, according to a WABetaInfo report.

Previously users could report entire chats from individuals or businesses, forwarding the latest five messages of the conversation to WhatsApp for reviewers to understand the context and ban the account if required.

The new system will forward only the reported message to WhatsApp for review.

The Facebook-owned messaging platform recently faced criticism over how its current reporting feature works as it potentially exposes people’s private messages.

Detractors argued that it is effectively a circumvention of WhatsApp’s end-to-end encryption to send the last five messages to a WhatsApp moderator.

This test appears to be a response to the criticism.

To access the message reporting feature, users will need to be on WhatsApp Beta or on iOS or version on Android.

To report, users can tap and hold the specific message and the option will appear in the menu alongside other message-specific features such as “Forward” and “Delete”.

WABetaInfo advises that beta testers who do not see the message-specific report option will need to wait for the upcoming versions of the beta.

This change also comes shortly after the Facebook-owned messaging company announced it would release a feature allowing users to protect their message backups with end-to-end encryption.

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WhatsApp changing how it handles offensive messages and spam