WhatsApp limits forwards to 5 recipients to check fake news

WhatsApp limits text forwards to five recipients; here is the reason

WhatsApp puts limit on message forwarding to fight fake news

The messaging app, which is owned by Facebook, previously let users forward a message on to 20 individuals or groups.

The move comes at a time when governments and regulators across the world are looking at effective ways to curb the spread of fake messages through digital platforms.

WhatsApp is expanding its message forwarding limit to across the world, almost six months after piloting the feature in India.

Besides, the social networking platform revealed that the decision has been reached to fight "misinformation and rumors".

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In India, more than 40 people have been killed by mobs in the past two years after false rumours about child abduction or organ harvesting were spread through WhatsApp.

While the platform can limit the number of times you can forward a message, it doesn't stop you from downloading a particular image or video, or copying the message and redistributing it to your friends.

WhatsApp said that the restrictions would "help keep WhatsApp the way it was created to be: a private messaging app".

At the same time as it began trialing the restrictions a year ago, WhatsApp also started labeling messages that had been forwarded, so people knew they were not original.

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WhatsApp however said its end-to-end encryption policy does not allow for traceability. In addition to technical measures, it launched campaigns there to educate its users about fake messages.

Others had called on Facebook, which bought WhatsApp for $18bn in 2014, to limit forwarding globally.

Android users will receive the update first, followed by users of Apple's iOS.

WhatsApp will roll out an update to activate the new forwarding limit, the company's Head of Communications Carl Woog said.

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