WhatsApp will now limit forwards to 5 recipients globally a practice it had introduced in India in July last year to crack down on the spread of rumors and fake news through its platform. Earlier WhatsApp allowed forwards to 20 chats to 20 recipients globally.
WhatsApp will now limit forwards to 5 recipients globally
WhatsApp will now limit forwards to 5 recipients globally the feature first launched in India in July 2018, is aimed mainly at curbing fake news, but it is now rolling out to users globally.
In its recent update on yesterday, WhatsApp said the move will help keep “WhatsApp focused on private messaging with close contacts”.
Previously, a WhatsApp user could forward a message to 20 individuals or groups. The five-recipient limit expands globally a measure WhatsApp put into place in India in July after the spread of rumours led to several killings in the country.
WhatsApp will now limit forwards to 5 recipients globally in India, WhatsApp is often criticised for its failure to prevent fake and provocative content from spreading on its platform.
The Indian government is also taking steps to ensure WhatsApp brings in accountability and facilitate enforcement of the law when it comes to labelling forwards and identifying fake news.
WhatsApp was also asked by the Ministry of Electronics and IT (MeitY) to make sure that their platform is not misused over the increasing cases of mob lynching due to irresponsible messages filled with rumours.
How will it help users?
WhatsApp will now limit forwards to 5 recipients globally all users on the latest versions of WhatsApp can now forward to only five chats at once, which will help keep WhatsApp focused on private messaging with close contacts.
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.
The new change will continue to help keep WhatsApp focused on private messaging with close contacts.
The app’s end-to-end encryption allows groups of hundreds of users to exchange texts, photos and video beyond the purview of independent fact checkers or even the platform itself.
An effort to curb fake news
WhatsApp will now limit forwards to 5 recipients globally as per the report of the WhatsApp that during the test period, the company saw a 25% reduction of forwarded messages being shared on WhatsApp.
WhatsApp said “We believe this is a reasonable number to reach close friends, while helping prevent abuse”.
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.
Under pressure to stop rumours and fake news, WhatsApp had last year, restricted forwarding messages to five chats at once as well as removed the quick forward button for media messages in India, a market that has over 200 million WhatsApp users.
The company also claimed that Indian users forward more messages and videos than any other market in the world.
WhatsApp will now limit forwards to 5 recipients globally these changes come as part of WhatsApp’s aim to maintain the image of a ‘private messaging app’ rather than one infamous for the spreading of fake news.