WhatsApp to limit message forwarding to 5 chats for India users

WhatsApp to limit message forwarding to 5 chats for India users”

Whatsapp users in the country will now only be able to forward a message five times. So, now the Facebook-owned company is conducting a test to limit the number of forwarded messages that are being shared between the people and lower the limit of five chats at once, a user can communicate with another person or a group.

NEW DELHI:To curb the spread of fake news and rumours on its platform, which has led to several cases of lynching, WhatsApp is launching a test to limit forwarding of messages by its users.

In a blog post, Whatsapp has announced that from now, users will be allowed to forward only 5 messages - This can be forwarded to 5 groups, or 5 users.

WhatsApp is dramatically limiting the ability for people to forward messages after the Indian government blamed fake news going viral via messages for a recent spate of mob violence. And in India - where rumors have contributed to the death of roughly a dozen people in mob violence since May - WhatsApp is taking more preemptive action against fake news. WhatsApp has confirmed that the restriction will apply on all message types including regular chats, videos, documents, photos and GIFs.

Towards the end of last month, WhatsApp announced a feature that should have been standard since the beginning: labelling forwarded messages.

Well-known and generally liked, including by yours truly, for its simplicity and convenience, WhatsApp needs to make more changes to curb the escalation of fake news.

The Economic Times reported earlier this week that the Indian government wasn't satisfied with those initiatives, and that it wanted WhatsApp to do more - like identify group conversations where rumors are being spread. One man, Satish Bhaykre, 21, was beaten by a mob after being wrong accused of child kidnap.

"Rampant circulation of irresponsible messages in large volumes on their platform have not been addressed adequately by WhatsApp", the ministry said.

Despite the steps taken by WhatsApp, India's information technology ministry released a strongly worded statement released late Thursday and said that the action taken was not enough.

The government warned WhatsApp on Thursday, in its second notice to the US-based messaging service in three weeks, that in the absence of adequate checks it will treat the messaging platform as an "abettor" of rumour propagation.

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