WhatsApp announced that it is updating the forward limits for its users across the globe. According to the revised limits, any WhatsApp user can only forward a message to five contacts at any given time. This is a likely attempt to fight the problem of increasing fake news where people are sharing incorrect and false information with friends and family in their contact list. As part of the announcement, the company added that this will ensure that people use the platform primarily for private messaging between close friends.
The company had already rolled out the feature in the Indian market last year to fight the fake news problem what resulted in violence. It also added that WhatsApp has “been careful to try and keep” the feeling of intimacy on the platform with the new forward limit. It is worth noting that this is not a new development and the company already made the announced about a test back in July last year. Almost half a year later, now the company is formally rolling out the feature to all WhatsApp users across the Globe. The company wants to remind the public about the steps that it has taken to fight the problem.
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Fake news is likely to play a major role in India as the General Elections are scheduled to take place in the first half of the year. In addition to this feature, the company has already introduced a number of changes to the platform to fight fake news. According to the company, WhatsApp has already introduced a feature that would label forwarded messages to indicate that they have been sent as “forwards” from any other conversation.
The company has also removed the quick forward shortcut that it introduced in the app to making message forwards easier. Along with this, the company has also been working on flagging suspicious links so what users are warned about any malicious link before they open it on WhatsApp.