WhatsApp limits message sharing for all to tackle fake news

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Victoria Grand, the vice president for policy and communications at WhatsApp, said the Facebook-owned company was determined to fight "misinformation and rumours".

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.

"WhatsApp had introduced limits on message forwarding in July a year ago starting with India, following a series of mob-lynching incidents in the country triggered by rumors and fake messages on the platform".

While a limit of five forwarding instances for any single message may sound low and completely harmless, it's important to keep in mind WhatsApp still supports group chats with up to 256 participants.

"WhatsApp carefully evaluated this test and listened to user feedback over a six-month period".

They said Facebook should restrict broadcasts so that a single user can not text hundreds of others at once, and limit the size of new groups during the electoral period.

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The Facebook owned business announced that users will now be limited to sharing messages up-to 5 times, which is a reduction from the 20 that was previously allowed.

Five - that's the maximum amount of times you will be able to forward a message on WhatsApp.

Android users will be the first to receive the update, and it will arrive shortly afterwards on iPhone.

The move comes at a time when the Indian government is aiming to make social media platforms more accountable through proposed changes in the IT Act.

WhatsApp, as part of its efforts, had also brought out full-page advertisements as well as television and radio campaigns, offering tips to users on how to spot misinformation.

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