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Whatsapp to introduce limit on message forwards to fight against misinformation

Tue 07 April 2020 11:09 | A A A

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(Sharecast News) - Whatsapp is restricting the frequency of messages forwarded to a group of people on its platform to fight against the spread of misinformation.

The Facebook -owned instant messaging service said on Tuesday that any message that has been forwarded five or more times will now face a new limit that will prevent a user from forwarding it to more than one chat (contact) at a time.

The changes will roll out worldwide on Tuesday, a spokesperson for Whatsapp told TechCrunch.

Whatsapp implemented a limit already in 2019 limiting users' ability to forward messages to more than five people at a time, resulting in a 25% reduction in forwarded messages globally.

"Is all forwarding bad? Certainly not," the company wrote in a blogpost today. "However, we've seen a significant increase in the amount of forwarding which users have told us can feel overwhelming and can contribute to the spread of misinformation. We believe it's important to slow the spread of these messages down to keep WhatsApp a place for personal conversation."

The new measures follow a dozen deaths in recent years in Whatsapp's biggest market, India, linked to the viral circulation of misinformation on the app.

WhatsApp has also been testing a feature on the beta version of its Android app that gives users the ability to quickly comb through the web with the text or video they have received for more context.

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