WhatsApp Reduces Message-Forwarding, To Curb Fake News

A man poses with a smartphone in front of displayed Whatsapp logo in this illustrati

To curb the circulation, it imposed the limit on the number of forwards, a user can share to just five persons.

In mid-2018, WhatsApp was under tremendous pressure from the Indian government over the spread of fakes news, which were causing widespread panic about child lifters leading to the lynching of innocent migrant workers and travellers. This refers to a restriction of five chats where a message can be forwarded simultaneously, which was tested in India, successfully reducing the number of forwarded messages on the platform, according to official company statements shared with BBC.

It means spotting fake news and online bullying will be hard for WhatsApp even with the limitation on forwarding messages.

From today, anyone with a WhatsApp account will only be able to forward a message on to five individuals or groups.

"We believe that these changes - which we'll continue to evaluate - will help keep WhatsApp the way it was created to be: a private messaging app" the company said in a statement.

However, they have refused to identify people who create original WhatsApp messages as they claim this would undermine user privacy thanks to their system known as "end-to-end encryption". In addition to technical measures, it launched campaigns there to educate its users about fake messages.

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

WhatsApp, a Facebook-owned messaging service, is imposing a new forward messaging limits in an effort to further stop the spread of misinformation.

Company executives told Reuters that the update will roll out to Android users first, followed by iPhone users.

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