WhatsApp wants to get rid of spam and fake news that are being circulated on its platform. The cross-platform instant messaging company is now trying something out that could lead to the rollout of a new and improved notification system.

Websites dedicated to WhatsApp and its beta program are reporting that the developers of the app are working on a new notification system that gives out warnings to users if what they are about to open is spam or a chain letter.

According to Whatsappen, the new notification system is being developed to recognize questionable content. The system will reportedly inform users right away if the message that they just received has been forwarded many times to indicate that it could be a chain letter. If it’s a chain letter, users will see “Forwarded Many Times” at the top of the chat bubble and below the sender’s name.

The same type of warning will be given to the user if he or she tries to forward the message to other people. At the top of the forward screen, they will see a text that reads: “A message you are forwarding has been forwarded many times.”

WABetaInfo believes that the tweaks are intended to cut the circulation of spam messages like this one: “WhatsApp is going to cost us money soon. The only way that it will stay free is if you are a frequent user i.e. you have at least 10 people you are chatting with. To become a frequent user send this message to 10 people who receive it (2 ticks) and your WhatsApp logo should turn Red to indicate a frequent user.”

The new system can identify spammers because they usually send the same content to multiple users. Spammers gather contacts from the internet or from some shady registration ads or services online. The system will keep an eye on messages that were sent to more than 25 people at once. When this happens, receivers will see the alert on their end.

Phone Arena labels these spam messages and chain letters as fake news for they are technically spreading false information to users. Therefore, it is understandable why WhatsApp is trying to prevent users from further spreading this type of content to other people.

Should users really need to send a single message to more than 25 people on their contact list, they can use WhatsApp’s Broadcast List feature. This tool enables users to send a message to multiple contacts provided the recipients have the sender’s phone number in their contact lists.

WhatsApp WhatsApp is modifying its notification system. Photo: Reuters/Dado Ruvic