Tuesday, 23 April, 2019

WhatsApp is now limiting message forwards to 5 chats across the world

The Whats App messaging application is seen on a phone screen The Whats App messaging application is seen on a phone screen
Jeannette Daniel | 21 January, 2019, 18:10

The five-recipient limit expands globally a measure WhatsApp put into place in India in July after the spread of rumors led to several killings there.

In India, its largest market with more than 200 million users, action was taken after a spate of at least 30 lynchings across the country that were blamed on incendiary message spread using the app.

WhatsApp said at the timethe limits would "help keep WhatsApp the way it was created to be: a private messaging app".

WhatsApp said the results of its six-month test in India had shown that forwarding reduced significantly as a result of the restriction.

"Starting today, all users on the latest versions of WhatsApp can now forward to only five chats at once, which will help keep WhatsApp focused on private messaging with close contacts", read an excerpt of the release.

In one of its notices, the Ministry of Electronics and IT (MeitY) said WhatsApp has been requested to come out with more effective solutions that can bring in accountability and facilitate enforcement of law in addition to their efforts towards labelling forwards and identifying fake news.

More news: Rashford at Ronaldo level after 150 Manchester United games, says Solskjær

WhatsApp's message forwarding mechanics have been blamed for helping the spread of fake news, in part because of the way the app displays forwarded messages.

WhatsApp saw a 25% reduction of forwarded messages being shared on its platform, a WhatsApp spokesperson told PTI.

The firm has since launched print, radio and television advertising campaigns to educate users on the dangers of misinformation.

Under pressure to stop rumours and fake news, WhatsApp had a year ago, restricted forwarding messages to five chats at once as well as removed the quick forward button for media messages in India - a market that has over 200 million WhatsApp users.

Android users will receive the update first, followed by iOS users shortly after.

What do you think about these changes from WhatsApp? WhatsApp however said its end-to-end encryption policy does not allow for traceability.

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