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WhatsApp limits text forwards to 5 recipients to curb 'misinformation, rumors'

January 21, 2019

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WhatsApp mulling ways to stop the misuse of app following global concern that it was being used to spread fake news. —File
WhatsApp mulling ways to stop the misuse of app following global concern that it was being used to spread fake news. —File

In a bid to fight "misinformation and rumors", the renowned Facebook-owned messenger service WhatsApp has decided to put a limit on the number of times a user can forward a certain message, CNBC quoted company executives as saying.

"We're imposing a limit of five messages all over the world as of today," WhatsApp’s Vice President for Policy and Communications Victoria Grand said at an event held in Jakarta.

The cap on message forwarding was first introduced in India after the spread of rumors on social media led to killings and lynching attempts. Now the management has decided to extend this for users across the world.

Earlier, users had the option to forward a single message to 20 individuals or groups. However, following the latest update rolled out by WhatsApp from Monday will activate the five-recipient limit.

WhatsApp, which has around 1.5 billion users, has been trying to find ways to stop misuse of the app, following global concern that the platform was being used to spread fake news, manipulated photos, videos without context, and audio hoaxes, with no way to monitor their origin or full reach.