WhatsApp is testing a new feature to allow users to report specific messages on the platform. This will be an extension to the existing report option that allows WhatsApp users to report individuals and businesses on the basis of the entire chat. WhatsApp is currently testing the new feature with beta testers on Android and iPhone devices. Abusive and spam messages are common on WhatsApp despite the fact that it has been offering the feature to report senders of such messages for quite some time now.
In a post, WhatsApp beta tracker WABetaInfo reported that the WhatsApp for iOS beta versions 126.96.36.199 and 188.8.131.52 have carried the option to let users report specific messages on the platform. It is said to allow the app to forward only the reported message to WhatsApp and notify the sender about the report.
WhatsApp has not provided any public details about whether it reads recent messages of a chat when it is reported on the platform. A recent article by ProRepublica, however, did suggest some human-level moderation by the Facebook-owned company, in such cases.
Nevertheless, WABetaInfo mentions that the new reporting process will be different from the existing one, in which the five most recent messages are forwarded to WhatsApp when a user reports a user or business on the basis of their chat.
Meanwhile, users on the beta version can see the new Report option when they tap and hold a particular message. It sits alongside the existing Star, Reply, Forward, Copy, and Delete options.
Alongside iOS, WABetaInfo has found the individual message reporting feature available on the recent WhatsApp for Android beta releases. The feature is said to be available on WhatsApp for Android beta version 184.108.40.206 for a large number of beta testers, though some on the previous version 220.127.116.11 are also able to spot it on their phones.
On Android, beta testers can access the new report feature by selecting a particular message and then tapping the three-dot menu button from the top-right corner of the screen.
This is not the first time that WhatsApp has been found to be improving its reporting mechanism. WhatsApp made similar attempts in the past to overcome abuse and spam messages. Yet, the platform is yet to protect itself from being a good source for abusers and spammers around the world.